Synopsis: We don’t get visitors. Not out here. We never have.
In Iain Reid’s second haunting, philosophical puzzle of a novel, set in the near-future, Junior and Henrietta live a comfortable, solitary life on their farm, far from the city lights, but in close quarters with each other. One day, a stranger from the city arrives with alarming news: Junior has been randomly selected to travel far away from the farm…very far away. The most unusual part? Arrangements have already been made so that when he leaves, Henrietta won’t have a chance to miss him, because she won’t be left alone—not even for a moment. Henrietta will have company. Familiar company.
“I look up at the sky–dotted with stars. The same as it’s always been. I’ve been looking up at the same night sky my whole life. It’s the only sky I’ve ever seen. All those stars. Satellites. The moon. I know the moon is so far away. It looks different tonight, though. I’ve never thought about it before, but if I can see it, all of it–those stars, the moon–see them from here with my own eyes, how far away can they really be?”
Iain Reid seems to be having a damn good year! His debut novel from 2016, I’m Thinking of Ending Things (which I still need to read) is being adapted for Netflix by Oscar-winner Charlie Kaufman. Which is huge. HUGE! Shortly after that announcement, it turned out that his sophomore book had also been picked up for a film deal. Well before it was even released. Goddamn.
After having read this, I can see why it was optioned so quickly! It has that atmospheric movie quality, for sure. Almost like an episode of Black Mirror, as directed by M. Night Shyamalan. I dug it a lot! I’m intrigued by how they will adapt it, but I’m sure it’s in good hands with Reid as an executive producer.
“Are some things meant to be, meant to happen? There are some things we can’t explain. Some call it fate. Maybe that’s okay. Maybe we don’t have to know more than that.”
Foe was a hell of a read! Complex, haunting, thought-provoking. I also loved the short chapters. It just gave it that sense of urgency & upped the creepy, weird tension! Foe at it’s core is about solitude, fear, complacency, the depths of human psyche & relationships. It is one of those books that the less that is said about it before reading, the better.
This psychological thriller was unexpected, in a good way.
(Thank you Simon & Schuster Canada for sending me a copy!)