Monday, 13 February 2012

Review of I Have Waited, and You Have Come by Martine McDonagh

Martine McDonagh has looked at the way we live now and has drawn a frighteningly real vision of life after an apocalyptic event.

From the first page the narrator Rachel, a solitary survivor, describes the bleakness of the landscape surrounding her in a detached, unemotional tone. 

Every now and then Rachel clinically reveals an horrific snapshot of the events that led up to the way that she lives now, and you begin to get a feel for her mental state. 

She is secretive, furtive, almost animal like in her response to the outside world, her senses alert to anything that threatens her safety, always taking the route that ensures that she remains hidden from view.

Rachel's home is a secluded mill protected by a storm wall.  The conditions that Rachel lives in are harsh and basic; personal hygiene is not important to her, the water is filthy and food is scarce. Things wear out and collapse, and she can only make the most basic of repairs. Sometimes she sleeps through days as time has ceased to have meaning for her.

Despite there being little pockets of communities not far from the mill Rachel rarely has any contact with others. She only talks to one man at the market in town where she goes for supplies and receives irregular calls from a female friend when the telephone lines aren't down. 

Rachel's only other distraction from her isolation are her obsessive thoughts of her former lover Jason, until she becomes the target of another's obsessive thoughts. 

This truly disturbing novel examines how a woman in a world where the normal rules don't apply deals with a stalker. Deeply atmospheric and darkly original, I Have Waited, And You Have Come explores the impact of loneliness and loss on the psyche in extreme conditions, and the terrible toll it can take.

Publisher: Myriad Editions
With thanks to Myriad Editions for the review copy.

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