As always with Ali Smith, this book had me a little conflicted. Once I was in to it, I absolutely adored it. That much is certain. My main wish is that I, personally, had more time to read this over 1 or 2 sittings opposed to 4 or 5 days which it did take. Her writing is something that has to absolutely be consumed, it’s something that has to be done on binge setting, it’s not as easy dipping in and out as I was on bus journeys.
How to Be Both is made up of two parts. The present day, the life of George, a teenage girl whose mother has died suddenly and the other centres around the life of a 15th-century painter Francesco. The thing I didn’t realise is that the novel exists in two editions – one with George’s story first and one with Francesco’s. I personally had an edition with Francesco first. But it can be read in any order, either way around, each story references the other. I’ve also heard that if you purchase the ebook that both versions are delivered to your device! Exciting.