Monday, May 12, 2008

The Fox's Walk by Annabel Davis-Goff

I think this might be one of those rare, perfect novels. I finished The Fox's Walk by Annabel Davis-Goff last week, and am still thinking about the ending, which was surprising and inevitable, the best kind of ending. Not for those readers who like car chases, or trembling fingers on throats, or bodies found at the bottom of cliffs. If you like Shirley Hazzard's The Great Fire, you might well enjoy The Fox's Walk.

I've read Davis-Goff's other novels, and they were excellent, but this is different. Here she is in complete control of the material, or it is in complete control of her, I'm not sure which. The setting is Ireland, around WWI and the beginning of The Troubles. The protagonist is a girl who is observant and sly and whom I found compelling. The slow terror of the dinner table, the resilience of children, the secrecy of adults, all are here.

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