Oyeyemi's fourth and boldest novel thus far is also her most beguiling and accomplished. Her coming-of-age stories have revelled in Gothic and fantastic elements. Now, the world of fable takes centre-stage in an Art Deco design.
In 1938, Mary Foxe, the muse, leading lady and chief invention of writer St John Fox, plans at last to get even with her creator, who has a sadistic penchant for killing off his heroines.
Unsettling interludes with the eerie atmosphere of folk-tales punctuate the story. A parable of the writing life moves deeper into the domain of power and control – and the mythical spectre of wife-culling Bluebeard comes into view.