Smith took the term 'free indirect discourse' and lit a firework under it so that it shoots its way through this novel. I found the pungency of these voices captivating and I found myself wondering what Astrid would think about things I come across. I even had a conversation with myself about why people don't keep maggots as pets. I'm sure this book is to blame for that.
A deliciously strange woman, Amber, invites herself into the life of an ordinary family whilst on holiday. Amber becomes exactly what each character needs, even if they don't see it themselves. It makes us wonder whether anything can be a coincidence and we look about us in a new way after having read this book. However, I found Astrid's and Magnus' stories far more engaging than their parents', I wonder if this is my age. Has anybody else found this to be the case?
Smith makes us think about the nature and power of language, how it affects us and changes us, and how we can affect and change it, in turn.