The premise of this book is that the narrator, Jean Mason, has a doppleganger who is wandering around Bellevue Square. This drives her to distraction and she becomes obsessed with finding her and confronting her.
There are a series of events that take place, her narration is wonderful, and we figure out fairly quickly that she is not a reliable narrator. But she really has a dry sense of humour and is fun to read. The other characters she interacts with are equally funny and dry. I enjoyed this book although like many other reviewers was a little in the dark at the end of it…..But here is my theory.
You may not want to read the rest of my review if you are planning on reading the book as there are spoilers.
When I’d finished it I immediately got on the phone with a friend and said, “Hurry up and read it already, so we can discuss it!”
I am wondering if this book is an elaborate and fun way for Mr. Redhill to kill off his alter ego, Inger Ash Wolfe. He wrote a mystery series under the pen name of Inger Ash Wolfe, which he revealed in The Globe and Mail a few years ago.
Am I way off the mark?
By the last third of the book, I wasn’t sure who the real person was and who the imaginary character was, but by the time she travels through the woods in the north to get to the literary festival, I am pretty sure that the real person is the doppleganger she’s been seeing throughout the book (whose name is Ingrid and is a mystery writer. In the book, Ingrid is the pen name for Inger Ash Wolfe, the woman who is presenting at the festival). I think this is all taking place in the mind of Ingrid/Inger who is actually lying in a hospital bed living out her last days in a coma probably with a brain tumour (again, completely guessing based on how I am interpreting what I read so I could be way out in left field.)
By the end of the book, when Jean is looking down at herself and then strangling herself, and eventually walking into a room with bright lights which she can’t see past, I’m thinking that it is either the end of her personality or more likely the end of Inger Ash Wolfe. So, that’s my guess. What do others think? Am I as crazy as Jean Mason?