“A sly satire of suburbia, wittily detailed and narratively bold . . . with its roots in ancient legend [The Mere Wife] proves especially relevant in this time of heightened fear of the Other.”

NO MAJOR SPOILERS

This is a retelling of the Beowulf legend but it is set in the current time.

Gren and his mother Dana live in the mountains just outside Herot Hall which is part of a thriving rich community. Dana is a former soldier who was captured in the war. When that ordeal is over she has her son Gren. She doesn’t remember how or who is the father but she has him and because he is different, she protects him from the world by hiding with him in the mountains.

At Herot Hall, Roger and Willa Herot live there with their son Dylan. All is peaceful and quiet until Gren notices Dylan, and decides to go and meet him, as he has no one other than his mother for company.

Once they meet the problems begin, and if you are familiar with the Beowulf legend you know how things will begin to proceed. Obviously, putting the story in the modern era there has to be some changes but the main drift of the story is still the same. Well thought out and written, it is a good effort from the author. For those who don’t like old stories modernized, than I suggest you stay away. Well worth the read otherwise.

For those who are interested in a different view of the Beowulf legend I would strongly suggest Grendel by John Gardner which is the story told from the monsters point of view.

 

Reviewed by:

Richard Franco

Added 18th September 2018

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Richard Franco