I last read To Kill A Mockingbird in high school because it was part of the curriculum that term. Not only was that entirely too long ago for me, but it is remarkable what you remember. I remember the childrens’ game about Boo Radley. I remember the trial of a black man who should have been acquitted but wasn’t. But when you do have to read it in High School, there are a lot of things you don’t yet know about the world.
So I was surprised to find it lurking on my bookshelf a few weeks ago as I don’t have many books there that I haven’t read that copy of. Normally, new books go into the “To Be Read” pile. Sometimes they stay in that for years. On the other hand, it was good that I’d found it as the title was again a set-text, this time for a writing course.
I picked up this book in a bookstore some months ago due to the fact I was in a bit of a buying mood and I’d never read any Neil Gaiman. His writing had basically passed me by somehow. But the Internet had made quite a big deal over the fact that he’d written the Doctor Who episode “The Doctor’s Wife“. And I had definitely recognised this as a very special episode.
It’s been a while since I reviewed a book, but the truth is I have been doing more writing than reading in the last twelve months. But I did manage to finish one. It was The Siren by Tiffany Reisz. Most of my readers will either be aware of it, or have read it.
However, do not be fooled: as well as the obvious label “erotica”, this is a multi-layered story, rich with complex, flawed characters. It is dreadfully easy to find writing on the Internet that someone, somewhere will find titillating. It is rather less easy to find fiction that is actually written well. This work is two levels above that. At least. And there may be spoilers ahead.