Katherine Carlyle

Rupert Thomson. Other Press, $16.95 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-159051-738-3
In Thomson’s (Secrecy) wonderfully written novel, London native Katherine “Kit” Carlyle is a headstrong, fanciful, and flighty 19-year-old living in Rome. Her father, David, is a roving CNN journalist who was largely an absent parent, and her mother, Stephanie, died of cancer six years previously. Having landed a scholarship to study at Oxford University, Kit obsesses over the fact that she is an IVF baby: she was stored for eight years as an embryo before she was implanted in Stephanie. Kit feels as if David blames her for causing Stephanie’s cancer by the IVF procedure, so Kit decides to run away and come to terms with her own identity. Kit travels to Berlin to stay with the orthodontist Klaus Frings, demonstrating her uncanny knack for meeting a series of helpful, generous strangers. All the while, she enjoys fantasizing about the scenes of her frantic, desperate father searching for her, and she even arranges rendezvous with him, which she doesn’t attend. She calls herself Misty and leaves Berlin to stay in Moscow, adding another layer of deception to her vanishing act. Thomson’s seamless prose style and striking minor characters round out this satisfying, offbeat narrative. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/17/2015
Release date: 10/06/2015
Genre: Fiction
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