Blurb (as on Goodreads):
We don’t get visitors. Not out here. We never have.
In Iain Reid’s second haunting, philosophical puzzle of a novel, set in the near-future, Junior and Henrietta live a comfortable, solitary life on their farm, far from the city lights, but in close quarters with each other. One day, a stranger from the city arrives with alarming news: Junior has been randomly selected to travel far away from the farm…very far away. The most unusual part? Arrangements have already been made so that when he leaves, Henrietta won’t have a chance to miss him, because she won’t be left alone—not even for a moment. Henrietta will have company. Familiar company.
Told in Reid’s sharp and evocative style, Foe examines the nature of domestic relationships, self-determination, and what it means to be (or not to be) a person. An eerily entrancing page-turner, it churns with unease and suspense from the first words to its shocking finale.
‘Foe’ is a strange book. Maybe some of you love books that give you information about the characters behaviors where you are supposed to notice minor changes but I find it extremely frustrating.
Junior and Henrietta live at one end of the field, a place where there are no visitors. One fine day they have a strange visitor with a strange news. Junior is part of a space program that will require him to leave his wife and home for a few years, and in his place, will live a replacement. A replacement that looks and talks like him, a replacement that his wife Hen will be living with.
The worth of the book lies in the writing style. Ian Reid presents us with a puzzled, troubled mind of a husband and a wife. The plot challenges their individuality, thereby turning them into a complex being. As a reader, it was very important to monitor everything they said or did, because that’s what the story is all about. The plot also explores what it means to have a meaningful existence and how people only realize that when they are facing a crisis. The pace is somewhat decent and most of the story chooses its own direction, making it unpredictable.
Throughout the book, I wondered what could be the purpose of this book. The answer lies in the latter half of the book, where the author drops one tiny bomb and that’s the BIG climax I was expecting. ‘Foe’ is ‘impressive’ followed by ‘monotonous’ and finally ‘pointless’.
‘Foe’ is for the readers who excel in character study and would be thrilled to get into their head and just explore.