Review of Web of Angels at Quill and Quire
“The facts of tragedy can be offensively clean and unadorned. I learned this a few days before Christmas, when a friend charged me with the task of disseminating the information that someone she knew had committed suicide. Each email I wrote and call I made was cold and direct: a chronological, bullet-point list of what and how, lacking why. It was an exercise in control, muting the reality of the thing and ignoring the clamour of emotional turmoil ringing in our ears like a bell. In the most extreme catastrophes, there is no other topic of conversation than the inconceivable thing at hand. Yet because it is impossible to face tragedy in every moment, we fill time with blandness as a coping mechanism. In everything that is said, we pretend to discuss something else, an inadequate pause before returning to the unresolvable subject. A successful narrative of fictional tragedy works in much the same way. Its plot points are so extreme that the actions and dialogue surrounding them require a pallid looseness, even tedium, to prevent the reader from recoiling in both repulsion and exhaustion.”
Read the entire review here.