Girl Meets Boy:The Myth of Iphis by Ali Smith

Cannongate Myth Series
A bold re-telling of legendary tales — The Myths series gathers the world’s finest contemporary writers for a modern look at our most enduring myths.

Ali Smith, takes on the myth of Iphis, retelling one of the few happy moments in Ovid’s Metamorphoses.

Girl Meets Boy follows sisters, Anthea and Imogen ‘Midge’ Gunn. Starting with them as young girls listening to their grandfather tell them stories of when he was a girl.

“Let me tell you about when I was a girl, our grandfather says.”

It then jumps forwards to their twenties, and they are both working for the Pure water company. (A corporation with a dream of world dominance that makes Coca Cola & Pepsi look quite restrained).

Imogen, is a bit of a corporate drone, finds it easier to toe-the-party-line be it at work or out with work colleagues rather than cause a scene.

Anthea, is much more of a free spirit and finds it difficult to work in the constricting environment at work, which despite being full of  ‘creatives’ doesn’t really encourage dissent or alternative points-of-view. And when she quits/is sacked she hooks up with the androgynous Robin, the girl who is defacing Pure advertising hoardings across the city.

This discovery of her sisters sexuality, and her initial shock reaction to it, is the start of Midge’s metamorphosis, as she finds love herself, learns of the way some corporations work and the realization of her bulimia.

It’s the kind of book I’d love to enjoy more than I ever do, that is not to say I disliked the book, I didn’t but in the end I didn’t love it either.

I did enjoy the writing style though, which switches the narration between the two sisters and plays with different styles of narration. But in the end it wasn’t quite as powerful or effecting as I initially thought it was going to be.

Buy, Girl Meets Boy (Myths) from Amazon.

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