The thief is Nina, or Butterfly, who disappeared eighteen years earlier and who is being summoned by this letter, this bomb, these recollections, revisions, accusations, and confessions. Read more...
The thief is Nina, or Butterfly, who disappeared eighteen years earlier and who is being summoned by this letter, this bomb, these recollections, revisions, accusations, and confessions.
Sometimes I imagine, out of sheer playfulness, that I am writing this as a kind of defence for having murdered and buried you under the patio.
Dear Thief is a letter to an old friend, a song, a jewel, and a continuously surprising triangular love story. Samantha Harvey writes with a dazzling blend of fury and beauty about the need for human connection and the brutal vulnerability that need exposes.
While I write my spare hand might be doing anything for all you know; it might be driving a pin into your voodoo stomach.
Here is a rare novel that traverses the human heart in original and indelible ways.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-08-04
- Reviewer: Staff
With her eerie and arresting latest, Harvey (The Wilderness) gives the neologism “frenemy” a full-book treatment. Unexpectedly sensing the presence of a long-absent friend whose whereabouts are unknown, the unnamed female narrator composes a series of unsent letters to her “after years of incuriosity you might call callous.” That callousness stems in part from a legitimate grievance: the last time the narrator welcomed her beautiful and capricious friend, Nina, into her Shropshire home, Nina ended up departing with her host’s husband in tow. Almost two decades later, the narrator is working in London at an elderly care home and considering whether to reconcile with her estranged husband when she begins her one-sided correspondence with Nina. Full of deflections and obfuscations, the letters recount the adversarial relationship between the more earthbound narrator and the exotic Nina, a British-Lithuanian world-traveler nicknamed Butterfly, that “fragile and most temporary of creatures.” Adopting various tones—lyrical, speculative, ironic, nostalgic, conciliatory, murderously bitter—the narrator reflects on the intensity of the women’s bond and reveals large and small betrayals on both sides. This controlled, thrilling novel derives its power from the perversity of a friendship in which the pair is “always closer when one has taken too much from the other.” (Oct.)