Companion Piece by Ali Smith
The unmissable new work from Ali Smith, following the dazzling Man Booker-shortlisted Seasonal quartet
‘A story is never an answer. A story is always a question.’
Here we are in extraordinary times.
Is this history?
What happens when we cease to trust governments, the media, each other?
What have we lost?
What stays with us?
What does it take to unlock our future?
Following her astonishing quartet of Seasonal novels, Ali Smith again lights a way for us through the nightmarish now, in a vital celebration of companionship in all its forms.
‘Every hello, like every voice, holds its story ready, waiting.’
Ali Smith is such a gifted storyteller. I loved the seasonal quartet that came to an end with Summer back in 2020. But low and behold the great Ali Smith has returned with Companion Piece (Hamish Hamilton) that was released in early April.
The novel is based in 2021 and Covid is still out there, and restrictions are keeping people apart and for Sandy who is doing everything she can to protect herself and from the virus and that means she cannot visit her father in hospital with a heart problem as often as she would like. But it is a telephone call out of the blue from an old University ‘friend’ a term I use lightly as Sandy never got on with Martina.
From here Sandy’s life that has been one of isolation and trying to limit her contacts suddenly all that is about to change as Martina who is now a curator at a museum will take Sandy on a journey back to when she was young, and life seemed so different when she was at university. But there is a mystery here in the story that Martina brings to Sandy.
Ali Smith has weaved a multi-layered novel that is rich with many themes running through its veins. Poetry will come into play in Companion Piece but how and why is for you to discover. The reader will go on a journey very much like Sandy as she re-visits her younger days. Hidden in the storyline are links to the past and hints of Ali Smith’s seasonal novels. Sandy will meet Martina’s family, despite Sandy doing everything she can to keep her contacts limited so she does not catch Covid herself.
I love Ali Smith’s writing as she is not afraid of confronting the life we are living through right now and the isolation that we have all faced as we began the journey to interact with people again.
Companion Piece is a clever piece of writing, it will puzzle but I feel a book that will reward time and again as there like a puzzle will reward time and again.
My thanks to Hamish Hamilton for the review Copy of Companion Piece by Ali Smith which was Published on 7th April 2022 and is now available through Waterstones, Amazon and through your local independent bookshop or through Bookshop.org that supports your local independent bookshop. UK Bookshop.org