Paperback review: Signs of Life, By Anna Raverat
Sunday 24 February 2013
Rachel was in a long-term relationship in her early twenties, but had an affair with a friend that ended badly. 10 years later, she takes up the pen in order to make sense of her behaviour and its tragic consequences for those she loved.
Anna Raverat's assured debut novel is told in fragments, as Rachel grapples with difficult – and perhaps unreliable – memories ("Here's the story: there are holes in it"). The reader must reassemble these chronologically jumbled scenes in order to make sense of Rachel's account – and to assess her guilt.
The book works as both a suspenseful psychological thriller and a sophisticated meditation on the act of writing; at its centre is the idea that the impulse to write stems from a desire to gain purchase on life's slippery surfaces.
After giving gay film R-rating despite no sex or violencefilm
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
- 2 West poised to join forces with President Assad in face of Islamic State
- 3 Mother fed her daughter tapeworms to make her skinny for pageant
- 4 Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
- 5 Pamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals: 'Mice had holes drilled into their skulls'
Jeremy Clarkson 'sees no problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC
Lucy, film review: Scarlett Johansson will blow your mind in Luc Besson's complex thriller
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw
Miley Cyrus concert banned on morality grounds in the Dominican Republic
The Hateful Eight trailer: Teaser for Quentin Tarantino film leaks early
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile