I’ve just finished reading Goblin. The ending is quite emotional, although I’ll say no more about that.
The story fits across time and space but is told by a central character, Goblin, whom we meet as a nine year old girl in London at the outbreak of the second world war, and simultaneously as a woman of eighty-one in Edinburgh, in 2011. As a narrator Goblin is tricksy and creative, lending the book a level of Gaiman-esque fantasy and more classical unreliability. We read the story of her life through the book, but are rewarded with new morsels of information each time the tale goes around its axis. Goblin’s identity warps over and over (especially in her younger years) but the character stays the same, constantly growing. The book has adventure, humour, romance, mystery and heartbreak; all the good stuff.
As a debut novelist, Ever Dundas’ personality, ideas and values feel clear to me through the text. There’s a strong animal-rights theme; I feel like half the named cast in the book must be non-human, and looking past the end I catch a “thanks to all who work to eradicate speciesism” in the acknowledgements. I’m looking forward to meeting her, I’m hoping my impression of the person behind this book is correct.
My only regret is my own impatience, buying the Kindle version rather than waiting for a hard copy to come in the post. ebooks can’t be signed, and worse still they can’t be lent out or passed on as gifts, which means I’m going to have to buy at least one more copy.