Published May 17, 2010 by Tyger Books (kindle edition)
Published Sept 1, 2010 (Paperback)
Paperback: 250 pages
A darkly comic literary novel set in the near future. England has been partitioned and London is an oppressive place where poetry has been forced underground, theaters and schools are shut, and women are not allowed to work outside the home. A young couple, Lucas and Angela, try to escape from London - with disastrous consequences.
It's hard to really put into words how I felt about this novel. So before I tell you, let me give you a quick synopsis: Lucas & Angela are a married couple living in London sometime in the future. The city is a dark place where everyone is distrusting and paranoid, and because of that, schools are shut down, women are not allowed to leave their homes (unless to visit other women), protesters/artists have to hide underground, and the world as we know it is essentially rendered useless. It is from this place that Lucas & Angela decide to escape - to go to another city where things are not as bad. But before they even get a chance, the two are separated and things only go from bad to worse.
I think what I hated most about Smith's novel - is also what I loved the most - which is that this world actually seems believable. In our world today - filled with body-scanners, wire-taps and non-stop bomb threats - I can absolutely see the government taking everything too far, and essentially becoming a dictatorship. Freedom of speech taken away, freedom of expression being stifled - it all seems eerily possible.
Besides the gloomy aspect of it, I found this novel to be witty, funny at times, and with an interesting storyline. The love between Angela & Lucas is believable and heartbreaking. You want these two to get back together, you're waiting for the amazing reunion the entire novel, and then...well, you'll have to read to find out, lol.
If you're looking for something different, something unique and dark - reminiscent of The Road even - then check out The Miracle Inspector. It's worth it.
3 1/2 of 5 stars.