“Is there an author working today who is comparable to Helen Oyeyemi? She might be the only contemporary author for whom it’s not hyperbole to claim she’s sui generis, and I don’t think it’s a stretch either to say she’s a genius . . . After reading any of her novels or her short story collection, you emerge as if from a dream, your sense of how things work pleasurably put out of order.”


Just finished Peaces by Helen Oyeyemi. Audio edition, narrated by numerous people.
This is the story of Otto and Xavier, a couple now committed to each other, and their honeymoon gift from a rich aunt, which is a ride on a private train. They do not know where they are going, and they are supposed to be alone. But they soon find out that the owner of the train, Ava Kapoor is also on the train along with her lover. And before I forget, Ava has a pet mongoose to go along with the mongoose brought onto the train by Otto and Xavier.

And then it gets confusing. Their are many characters who pop in and out of the story, some old acquaintances of Otto and Xavier before they met each other.
Problems to be solved on this ride include Ava’s upcoming inheritance and the Rich Aunt keeping company with someone named Yuri, who is supposedly someone from Xavier’s past.

I must admit my mind tended to wander listening to the reading of this book and it took a real effort to try and follow the flow of the story. This was not easy and in my opinion part of the problem to me was that the story want interesting enough to hold my attention. An eccentric novel at best by a truly gifted author this time wasn’t my cup of tea.
If you are going to read this book I suggest skipping the audio version, which is something I wish I had done as I have enjoyed other books written by the author.
Not recommended.


Reviewed by:

Richard Franco

Added 14th May 2021

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Richard Franco