Posted 20 hours ago

Metronome: The 'unputdownable' BBC Two Between the Covers Book Club Pick

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He believes that he will be guilty by association with what she has done and stubbornly clings, like a security blanket, to his belief that it’s all a test set by the Warden.

There is little explanation of what has happened in society for restrictions on having children or why there is such a harsh punishment for breaking the rules. My review expresses my own thoughts about the story and it is not influenced in any way by the publisher or the author.His use of language is nuanced and sensitive, with landscape writing especially a sensory highlight. As it is, with omniscience at play, Watson uses the idea of funnelling his information from the broadest possible view, zooming down to the specific minutiae – and out again. Unfortunately the story became less satisfying as it progressed and the ending suggested the author just didn’t know where to go with it. Sometimes terrifying, with heavy dollops of suspense this intricately layered novel reveals its secrets whilst maintaining a sense of impending doom.

His debut novel, Metronome , was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize, and his short fiction has been shortlisted for the Bristol Short Story Prize and awarded runner-up for the Seán Ó Faoláin Prize.

I enjoyed reading this, it’s a story on it’s own but I’d recommend it for fans of Lost (where the repetitive activity may or may not actually mean anything). Punished for the crime of having an unauthorised child, Aina and Whitney are banished to an island and tethered to a pill dispenser which keeps them alive. They’ve kept busy – Aina with her garden, her jigsaw, her music; Whitney with his sculptures and maps – but something is not right. Katherine Mansfield also combines the senses and elements in her ‘Voices Of The Air’ poem using air, sound, sea, wind and music, ‘sighs’, ‘double notes’ and double basses, that appear in ‘rare’ moments.

They have a different perspective of freedom – of course they do, otherwise there would be no story – highlighted in the interaction and attitudes of their characters.One memorable chapter sees Aina go for a swim, something to innocent that becomes heart-stoppingly stressful. It’s best to go in knowing very little, because Watson’s intricately layered novel reveals its secrets slowly and it is all the more brilliant for it. As the story unfolds the author offers the reader snippets of information - the protagonists are exiled, the government introduced hierarchical rules regarding procreation - clearly echoing 1984 or The Handmaid's Tale.

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