Review and Interview with the author of Alys, Always

Alys Always by Harriet LAneLast July at The Discarded Image, I published a review of Alys, Always, British journalist Harriet Lane’s debut novel. The story opens with a bang, in a straightforward kind of way, but it soon becomes clear that the aftermath of this opening scene is going to fundamentally alter a number of lives—but whether for good or bad will be left to the reader.

Driving back to London from the countryside on an icy evening, Frances Thorpe comes upon a car accident. She can’t get to the driver, who calls to her saying her name is Alice and that she spun out trying to avoid a fox. Frances tries to keep Alice talking while they wait for the ambulance, but the trapped woman’s voice is getting weaker. When the paramedics arrive and set up heavy machinery to cut through the crumpled car, the police draw Frances away to take her statement, sending her home with a promise that they’ll be in touch. And when they call, they inform her that they did what they could, but Alice didn’t make it. Continue reading at The Discarded Image…

And that’s when Frances discovers who Alice was and decides to turn the tragedy into an opportunity for herself.

As the book unfolds, the psychological depths of Lane’s storytelling are revealed in surprising twists. I was so fascinated by the main character that I sought out the author on Twitter to get a little more backstory. And this week, just as the paperback of Alys, Always released here in the U.S., I posted my interview with Harriet Lane over at The Discarded Image. We talked about watching others’ lives from afar, choosing your own destiny, and whether or not Frances has really committed a crime.

The protagonist of Harriet Lane’s debut novel Alys, Always was remarkably good at putting me on my guard. She raised all sorts of fascinating questions about what motivates us when it comes to the narratives we tell ourselves and others about ourselves and others. So I was thrilled when Harriet agreed to chat a bit about the psychology of her characters and some of the experiences and observations behind the suspense. Continue reading at The Discarded Image…

12. January 2013 by Mindy
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