Review: Autumn – Ali Smith


Rating – 5*

Ali Smith will forever be one of my favourite authors, this book has only emphasised that. I don’t think I can be coherent when it comes to Ali’s books, all my thoughts just jumble and make no sense whatsoever. Her writing is incredible and resonates with me in a way I can’t explain.

Autumn is a novel which is so present and I can only wish I read it when I first bought it – when it was even more recent. Just, how exactly it was possible for Ali Smith to create a full, rich novel involving Britain after Brexit in exactly the time it was taking place I don’t know. But it’s amazing.

This book, in it’s most basic form, is the story of a deep friendship between a young girl – Elisabeth – and an old man – Daniel. The story is told nearly entirely in the form of flashbacks. Stories within stories. Stories about race and identity, stories about art, feminism, sexuality, women, mothers sisters. Stories about a pop artist named Pauline Boty. Yet, ultimately it is the relationship between Elisabeth and Daniel told through all these stories.

As expected with Ali Smith, it is beautifully written. It manages to be both thought provoking and hilarious, sad and happy. It made me think, it made me laugh, there were nods to so many other books, to art, it’s so layered I think every time I read this (because I will re-read it, it’s Ali Smith) I will find new things, new layers to the story and that is something I find pretty damn exciting, and something which will make me want to reread this book.

This year is off to a very good start on the reading front. It seems the books I had hoped to read in the last quarter of the year have so far been amazing, and it makes me glad I took a break from reading if only to enjoy them properly.

5 thoughts on “Review: Autumn – Ali Smith

  1. Disha says:

    This book is in my TBR for the year, looking forward to reading it. It caught my eye because of its cover actually! As silly as that sounds

    • ashleighmuses says:

      Nope. Not silly at all! Though, for me the cover – while beautiful – is not my favourite. I love it, but I love the cohesion of the white covers of all her other books! (Now that is vain – all I care about is my shelves!) Though I’m really looking forward to see the completed quartet because I have a feeling it’s going to be a thing of beauty.

      I hope when you get around to it you enjoy it as much as I did! 🙂

    • ashleighmuses says:

      Making me pick is nearly impossible because it changes so frequently! How to Be Both is probably most memorable for me, but Girl Meets Boy probably holds the most sentimental value and is my favourite on that level.

      This though, it’s definitely up there. It’s one that’s going to stick with me!

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