Iain Reid stunned me with his last book, I'm Thinking of Ending Things. I couldn't wait to start reading his latest, Foe.
I love the cover, the starry skies above, the isolated barn highlighted from above. But it's the skewed title word that had me wondering what I might find inside.
What I found was a story I couldn't have imagined - one that took me only a day to devour.
Set sometime in the future, Foe is the story of Junior and Hen, a married couple who live on an isolated property. One day Terrance, a government agent of some sort, arrives to let Junior know that he has been selected for the long list. What list? "For the Installation. .... You might even get to be part of the first move. The first wave. You might get to live up there." And to that end, Terrance begins to interview Junior over the course of the next couple of years. His interviews, measurements and diagnostics take a more intimate and intrusive path as they progress. And the final piece? He needn't worry - Hen won't be alone if he is chosen to go.
For the reader, those interviews lets us have an inside look at their marriage. What builds a relationship? Memories? Plans for the future? Wants, desires, dreams? What is love? But still, there is something off with their interactions. Is Hen done with the marriage? Does she want something else for her life? Unsettling undertones are present in almost every conversation.
And just like I'm Thinking of Ending Things, the final chapters of Foe will have you questioning everything you just read. And I have to say, I loved the turn things took on the last pages. Startling, but so fitting. Here's an excerpt of Foe.
Foe is another stellar read from Iain Reid - unusual, unexpected and finished too fast. You can connect with Iain Reid on Twitter.