‘We hate poetry that has a palpable design upon on us,’ wrote Keats, and the same could be said about novels that tackle the big questions of our day. Will the characters be too on-message? Will the author lecture us? Maggie Gee’s novels show this doesn’t have to be the case. Although contemporary issues abound in her fiction, her characters are disobediently individual and a certain festive, anarchical spirit presides.