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Autumn by Ali Smith

Described as the first post Brexit novel, Autumn explores the unusual friendship between thirty something art historian Elisabeth Demand and German centenarian Daniel Gluck, against the backdrop of the UK after the referendum results.

The parts I most enjoyed in the book were those that focussed on Elizabeth and Daniel’s early interactions when they met as next door neighbours when Elisabeth is 8 years old. Sharing knowledge and perspectives despite their age and cultural differences, their friendship acts as a beacon, a celebration of difference, in contrast to the fractured society that the author describes post the Brexit vote.

It is certainly not a straightforward read. It jumps from different time periods - following both David and Elisabeth’s individual lives. It deals with meaty themes on life, death, unconventional love, politics and art. It visits both characters in their dreams and the writing often becomes disorienting to reflect this.

However, once I let go and stopped trying to make sense of everything, that’s when I really started to appreciate it. If you like a book that gets your mind whirring, this is definitely the book for you.

Reviewer: Joe, Mind Information team

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