The blurb describes this book as 'funny and fresh, poetic and political' and I think it would be a difficult task to find a better description. Smith's writing truly is poetic- it flows beautifully, intertwining the stories with a grace that only a gifted writer can master. This is one of those books that although short, at only 161 pages, it makes a big impact.
There are two obvious themes: homosexuality and equality for women. The first of these themes, for me, was best portrayed in the thoughts of the character Midge (Imogen). Through her thought process you can really understand societies views and presumptions about homosexuality and its incredibly heartfelt seeing her develop and assess her own opinions- in particular regarding her sister. That being said I also loved the thought track of Anthea who has an innocence about her that really contrasts to the harsh judgement of those in society. This is thoughtful writing at its best.
The second of these themes, equality for women, was also portrayed thoughtfully and creatively. In the sense that you got to see from the start of the book how women are treated in the workplace, subtly to begin with, then getting deeper until you are met with real life statistics that hit you hard. This makes reflection for the reader easy and helps you to understand earlier sections of the story. It was a unique and interesting comment on this highly important topic.
I wish that I had known more about Ovid and the myth of Iphis, the basis of this story, before I started reading.However, don't let this put you off. Personally I feel that 're-tellings' are brilliant ways to access old stories and legends and this book is certainly no exception.
I have to say as a random little side note: I adore the chapter titles in this book- 'I, you, us, them, all together now'. I think they're so cleaver and really compliment and sum up the story. I really enjoyed this book, its a beautiful read and quick. Definitely worth picking.