I really liked Jill Hucklesby’s second novel Last Kiss of the Butterfly, but I have to agree with the press release for Jill’s third – If I Could Fly – that it may well be an opening to something bigger. As you know, I tend to dislike statements of this kind.
Don’t know where it is set, but I read it thinking of something Brighton-ish. What’s more relevant is that this place somewhere on the south coast is a dystopia, a place that feels both quite alien and at the same time awfully close to where we might be now. The heroine Calypso isn’t sure what is happening to her, so the reader is left not knowing all that much either.
She has escaped from something, running away from… what exactly? Calypso is scared and so is the reader, who can only guess at what’s going on. Caly knows some of the rules of the totalitarian state she lives in, and she knows she’s against those rules.
She longs to see her mother again. But she knows she can’t. The question is why?
Caly is injured, but not sure of how it happened or by whom. She finds somewhere to hide, and she needs to heal. Can she trust the man she encounters? And is her new friend really a friend? What did happen and why doesn’t she want to remember?
This is a powerful story, featuring a puzzle, set in unknown surroundings, which means you can’t know what is OK and what isn’t. Very thought-provoking. And I didn’t see the end coming.