REVIEW by Anne Lauppe-Dunbar

NWR Issue 107


by Alys Einion

‘Even when he asked me to marry him, and I said, “Yes”, still he did not lose that heavy, fleshy composure of his,’ writes Angela Carter in ‘The Bloody Chamber’, a re-telling of Beauty and The Beast.

Imagine a sister, aunt, daughter, marrying a stranger, travelling far away towards a dream of a different, better, life. The narrative of any Beauty rescued by her prince is packaged in many guises. In Inshallah, Alys Einon’s debut novel, the idea of marriage and princely rescue is presented under the auspice of escape and possibility. Compare Einon’s words, ‘“You look lovely,” he says softly, his coal black eyes intense, shadowed’, to Carter’s, ‘Heavy eyelids folded over eyes that disturbed me by their absolute absence of light,’ and an ominous darkness infiltrates the naive premise of Inshallah’s protagonist to reach ‘a new life where I can begin again’. The reader is already one step ahead, knowing such chances will be far and few...

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previous review: The Girl Who Lived on Air: The Mystery of Sarah Jacob, The Welsh Fasting Girl
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