Book Review for Weft

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A powerful and unexpected novel about the bonds that bind us to the family and the lies we weave to feel safe
At the intersection of realistic literary fiction, surrealism, horror and crime. Allardice’s shooting is not afraid to expand the reader’s imagination. The Novel explores the life of Bridget, a con artist who travels with her son Jake, staying in inexpensive hotels and wandering the malls of Central America in search of arrogant traces.

Towards the middle of the book, the story shifts from mainly realistic events to more surreal and frightening images that reveal Bridget’s past while forcing her to question her current situation. But even before this change, Allardice pushes the reader into slightly distant spaces, testing the elasticity of the suspension of the reader’s disbelief. In the end, Allardice’s lyrical prose combined with captivating suspense and tension makes Weft a strange but also captivating experience.

The world at the beginning of Weft is ideal in many ways, but shadows lurk under the nostalgic surface of the 90s. Bridget and Jake look for their brands in shopping malls or Festivals where rich people trample grapes to make plonk. They pose as Casting directors and hope to make the boys (and, by extension, their parents) believe that they could be the next Anakin Skywalker in the rumors about the upcoming Star Wars prequels. Happy families live comfortably, indulging in things they don’t need and sending large checks in response to Bridget’s bluff, while this mother and her recently emancipated son live in the misery of inexpensive motels, separated from the rest of their relatives, always on the run.

The shopping center, the Festival and even the mansions in which Bridget speaks under the pretext of shooting an Audition tape all show an idealistic brand of capitalism. One house contains a labyrinth of living rooms and another a butler. Her footsteps are filled with the hope and confidence that money can buy; the same hope and confidence that Bridget herself lacks and that she tries to exploit in others. Bridget does not believe in the cheerful attitude of the ideal world that Allardice paints around her, but she pretends to do so. Only when a scam goes wrong and she finds herself in a haunted house on Halloween does she have to accept her own facade.

Navigating with precision and skill between the sentimental setting of 1997 and Bridget’s inner workings, Allardice creates an overall tension from the first page to. This tension builds up as the world around Bridget slips into surrealism as it becomes more and more threatening and contradicts what was expected.

According to the history specialist, Dr. Angus Fletcher, a stretch like this is an “invention at the root of all literary miracles: the miracle that occurs when a regular object is stretched in a metaphor.”The result of this stretching, says Fletcher, “is that we literally feel the limits of ourselves dissolve, even to the point of finishing ourselves.”When Bridget finds herself in the mansion that has become a haunted house, the confident self that she once carried begins to crumble. As Allardice moves on to more wake-ups and imagistic representations of reality, the reader experiences this confusion, this rupture with Bridget. The strange world of the haunted house becomes more real than the sensation of the body book in the hands of the reader or the chair on which he is sitting. It is the effect of this stretching, of this nudge to the edge of reality, without pushing the reader overboard, which makes the shot particularly effective, the reader biting his nails until the last page.

Although it is difficult to define the Genre of Weft, Allardice has created a work accessible to a wide range of audiences, from poetic-minded academics to horror fans to casual readers interested in opening up their literary world. At the same time strange and exciting, Weft is a unique Novel: beautiful, convincing, a pleasure.

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