A darkly comic dysopian novel set in the near future. England has been partitioned and London is an oppressive place where poetry has been forced underground, theatres and schools are shut, and women are not allowed to work outside the home. A young couple, Lucas and Angela, try to escape from London – with disastrous consequences.
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Set in the future in London, the government is run entirely different. Lucas has a job with the government as The Miracle Inspector. He hasn't found one yet, and isn't entirely sure what will happen when he does. But until then, he spends his days inspecting would-be miracles that are called into his office.
The women are to be protected at all costs, so they are not allowed out of their homes. They remain inside and cook and clean and take care of their husband's at night. They are allowed to visit with relatives, and it's humorous how many relatives each wife has with the other women.
There is Jesmond, who was a friend to Lucas's father who spends a lot of time in the undergrounds of London, speaking poetry. Lucas finds him to be a homeless old man with frivolous thoughts, but Angela, Lucas's wife, thinks his poetry is beautiful. His poetry puts thoughts into her head, and when Jesmond begins to mentor another poet, he leaves beautiful pieces of poetry on Angela's doorstep.
Angela and Lucas just want to escape the oppressive London and begin to make plans to escape. They envision a small house, white fence, two and a half kids, and freedom. But what ensues is not what they had planned.
Filled with dark comedy, a uniquely built world, and eccentric, yet unique and engaging characters, Smith's dystopian is enchanting, funny and engaging. There are some vivid fantasies and some cursing, but all in all, it's a really beautiful, yet dark read. If you love British writing, as Smith writes in true British fashion, as well as an off beat book about society's downfall and two characters just trying to survive, pick up The Miracle Inspector!
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.