Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Ailsa Cox reviews Astral Travel in Litro

It's a particular thrill when a writer whose work you admire - Ailsa Cox writes accomplished and moving short stories - and a literature professor to boot, praises your book. Reviewing Astral Travel for Litro Magazine, she calls it 'riveting,' 'wonderful' and a 'page-turner'. 

Astral Travel is a story about a painful history, but I like to think it's told with a light touch, and to my gratification Ailsa corroborates this:

Astral Travel is written so vividly, in such a freewheeling style, that the narrative twists and turns are navigated with ease. Despite the underlying anger, and the sadness, Jo is a likeable narrator with an ironic tone of voice and a comic sensibility. 

(I have to return the compliment: this is a lucid, beautifully written review).

I'm not sure why Litro have chosen to illustrate this review with a picture of a church door, but perhaps it's because Ailsa picks up on the crucial theme of identity that is at the novel's core and what she calls 'the multiple allegiances that [protagonist Jo] inherits – Welsh, Irish, Jewish, Methodist, Catholic and more ... just part of her struggle towards self-definition beyond patriarchal control.'

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