By Fletcher Flora
Strange Sisters is a novel by Fletcher Flora. The story follows the life of Kathy, a young girl trying to find her place in the world. The story begins with Kathy meeting a man, Angus Brunn, and killing him in what appears to be self-defence when she realises she can’t sleep with him.
The story actually takes place in a very short timespan but we keep being sent back to the past to understand Kathy, who she is, and what brought her to going out with Angus Brunn. We understand through those stories that she likes women, although it is never expressed with any kind of label. The author makes us travel through Kathy’s life with agility, following her trails of thoughts and we never feel like the memories are forced upon us. We are simply plunged into this women world as she tries to find a solution to her problem(s).
We learn that Kathy has a long of history of blame and through the constant loss of the important woman in he life. Everyone always seems to be leaving her. She is often depressed and the murder of Angus Brunn triggers her fall into madness. We follow this descent through the story until the
Throughout the story their is a definite sense of guilt and inexorable fate. It feels like Kathy’s life couldn’t have gone any other way and that the ending is only logical.
Overall I really enjoyed this novel. The only thing I didn’t really like is the use of lieutenant detective Ridley. Towards the end of the story the focus shifts from Kathy to him. It seems unjustified as his role is not that predominant in the story. It certainly helps us understand him and his point of view but I felt the story didn’t warrant it. It almost felt like the author suddenly wanted to take the story in another direction and instead of making it a story about Kathy, make it into a detective story lead by Ridley. I felt that the dive into his thoughts could have been left to the last chapter which gives voice to all the characters Kathy has met over the course of her life.