Lorraine Wilson, This is our Undoing, Luna Press, 2021.
Take a near future with fascist states and extreme weather events. Take a woman in an Eastern European forest, hiding from her past. Add a sprinkling of unexplained events. Then you'll have an incredibly engrossing novel.
Lina works in an enclave, located in the mountains in Eastern Europe. The local people watch her colleague with some distrust, certain that all their surveying is about taking their freedom away. But when someone is assassinated in England, the ripples will reach all the way to her.
This is our Undoing offers a close point of view which is Lina's. It has its upside and its downside. The upside is that you can really feel the tension building up, the way Lina feels trapped by events, by people, how she always tries something more to find a solution. The downside is that a couple of things might seem obvious to the reader while they aren't to the character. But that is a niggle.
The gallery of secondary characters is well done and some of them are definitely in the category of "characters you'll love to hate."
The main character of the novel, to me, isn't Lina, but the forest. It is surveyed, observed through drones, calculated, entirely rationalised. And yet, it escapes Lina and her colleague. It's a place of beauty and of danger, of folk tales and mysteries. It mesmerised me, just as much as it fascinates the characters.
Wilson's writing is tight and fits the tension in her novel. As things ramp up, you're watching disasters unfolding one after the other and how humans seal their fates. At other times, it can be lyrical, filled with hope and wonder.
This is our Undoing also offers a political commentary from surveillance to immigration that is never heavy handed and sadly feels much too topical.
Wilson has written an engrossing novel, set in a place of awe, danger and mystery. This is our Undoing sounds like a curse but it is, ultimately, about the responsibilities we must take, collectively and individually.
A free copy was offered by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
If you've liked This is our Undoing, you may also like
All reviews are spoiler free unless explicitly stated otherwise.
I only review stories I have liked even if my opinion may be nuanced. It doesn't apply for the "Novels published before 1978" series of blog posts.
Comments are closed, having neither time nor the inclination to moderate them.
WHAT IS THE MIDDLE SHELF?
The middle shelf is a science-fiction and fantasy books reviewS blog, bringing you diverse and great stories .
ON THE MIDDLE SHELF
KEEP IN TOUCH WITH THE MIDDLE SHELF
PLEASE SUPPORT AUTHORS.
IF YOU LIKE IT, BUY IT.