Jo Walton
Farthing Cover

A Pertinent Alternate Reality...


Starts off well with a murder mystery. Gets a bit bogged down & muddled in the middle as the lead detective and his sergeant toss theories back & forth and the minutiae of life at Farthing House takes center stage. Really picks up in the 2nd half but leaves the reader with a very abrupt and unsatisfying ending that is still rather perfect in a way.

I did enjoy the alternating chapters being told via first-person by Lucy Kahn on the one hand and the third-person perspective following Detective Carmichael's investigation on the other.

Walton is a gifted writer who has crafted an uncomfortable read, (intentionally so, I'm sure). Some of the socio-political proselytizing is a bit heavy-handed at times but the alternate reality she imagines is very pertinent - almost prescient - to what is happening in western society today. Laced with the, "It can't happen here", mantra, this is a scary and disturbing tale.

As soon as I finished this, I picked up the next volume in the series.