By Ali Smith
Anchor Books, Paperback, 9781400032181, 306pp.
Publication Date: April 10, 2007
Filled with Ali Smith's trademark wordplay and inventive storytelling, here is the dizzyingly entertaining, wickedly humorous story of a mysterious stranger whose sudden appearance during a family's summer holiday transforms four variously unhappy people. Each of the Smarts--parents Eve and Michael, son Magnus, and the youngest, daughter Astrid--encounter Amber in his or her own solipsistic way, but somehow her presence allows them to see their lives (and their life together) in a new light. Smith's narrative freedom and exhilarating facility with language propel the novel to its startling, wonderfully enigmatic conclusion.
“Astonishing. . . . Vivid and affecting. . . . Wonderfully supple, jazzy.” –The New York Times“Persistently sparkling pages...of startling and clarifying emotional power. . . . It casts a spell.” —The Atlantic Monthly“Completely captivating. . . . Thoroughly charming and melodic. . . .Devilishly lovely.” —The Boston Globe“Beautifully executed. . . . A few pages [in] and you begin to remember how much fun it is to put yourself in the hands of a skilled, majestically confident writer. . . . Delightful.” —The New York Observer“Brims with wit, humor, and energy.” —The Christian Science Monitor