Helle Michelsen reviews Desire Line by Gee Williams

Desire Line

Parthian, £9.99

The multi-layered nature of Desire Line, Gee Williams’s new novel, is evident from the first page, when half-Japanese narrator Yori invokes Alfred Hitchcock as artistic guide for his tale of dark secrets brought to light by the 2042 inundation of Rhyl. Bombarded with facts in a non-sequential and seemingly impossible order, the reader eventually manages to piece together this much: in 2008, Sara Meredith, Oxford born and educated, was basking in the success of the film A First at Oxford, based on her novel of the same name. When setting out on her academic career, she had the luck to unearth papers telling the story of a Thomasina Swift whose lover made a bet that she was so clever she could pass herself off as a man at Oxford and survive the first term.

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