I received this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Four stars out of five.
Hannah Green is an eleven year old whose mundane life suddenly becomes irrevocably unmundane, when she learns her grandfather is somewhat older than they all suspected and, despite being long past the age of retirement, has a very interesting employer.
I was attracted to this book by its cover and title; the cover was eye catching in its lush colours and the title curious in its juxtaposition (to the picture on the cover).
It is a book that focuses a great deal on relationships; on how they can be built upon, or picked apart, and how they can directly and indirectly affect those around them. Smith employs the most fantastic metaphors to express the emotions of his characters and their reflections upon their relationships with various people.
I think the thing that struck me most about this book was Smith’s artistry with words;
There was a clunking sound, low and somehow awful. It was like that feeling you get when you realize you’ve done something wrong, and deeply terrible, and won’t ever be able to take it back.
It was wonderful the way in which Smith was able to recognise these incredibly human sensations and carry them across into his writing. It added that little bit of extra depth to his writing, made his characters that little bit more human and relatable (even showing the human sides to characters who were distinctly not human)
Smith has managed to achieve a well constructed balance in this story; there are moments that are deep and make you think, but these are countered well by moments that are light and downright funny. The writing, the dialogue, is full of light and dark; cleverly mirroring the plot and it’s complex characters.
I would recommend this book if you like the kind of stories that blend the everyday with the fantastic; I’ve seen a lot of people compare Smith with Neil Gaiman but I would add that the writing is quite similar to Tom Holt too.
Hannah Green and her Unfeasibly Mundane Existence is available from;