Seizure by Erica Wagner - review by Pamela Norris

Pamela Norris

Mother’s Myths



Faber & Faber 226pp £10.99

Seizure begins with hints of instability and violence. A woman stands in front of a mirror, daubing her mouth with an old, caked lipstick. In the room behind her, there is a bloodstained knife and a man who may well be dead. It could be a dream, or a vision of the future. Like a folktale or ballad, or a lay by the medieval poet Marie de France, the scene invites the reader to speculate about powerful feelings. It also establishes the atmosphere of this unsettling novel: poetic, passionate, and poised in the hinterland between fantasy and real life.

The novel is set partly in England, partly in North America. Its heroine is Janet, an attractive young woman, director of a small arts centre, who lives in London with a classical musician, Stephen. When she learns that she has inherited a small house from her mother, she is bewildered

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