By Nathaniel Finestone
The centaur’s wife didn’t remind me of any other book I’ve ever read which depending on who you ask might be a good or a bad thing, at least according to its author, Hamilton’s own Amanda Leduc.
A realist fantasy with an airy ethereal tone, the Centaurs Wife exists between the worlds of literary fiction and fantasy, much like the centaurs exist between worlds. It is a raw naturalistic tale about trying to find your place and how to move forward after a tragedy.
On the surface it’s a post-apocalyptic survival story but weaved in throughout are fairy tales of the author’s own creation which help to deepen the sense of magic and mystery.
It does take place in our world, but somehow not really. In true fairy tale fashion the characters in The Centaurs Wife are more archetypes than they are people, with no last names and no locations ever specified we’re able to imagine the feelings and struggles of the people (and the centaurs) rather acutely.
As much as I enjoyed this book I would definitely say it is not for everyone. The plot is slow moving but then jumps forward in fits and starts and though at no point did I see where it was going, the ending leaves something to be desired in terms of its ambiguity and overall lack of resolution. I’d recommend this book to anyone looking for a novel reading experience, but not if you’re looking for a comfort read or something to dig into at the beach.