Every human being is a series of stories; it’s nice when someone wants to hear a new one.
Apollo’s father left him and his mother when he was a small boy, so when Apollo becomes a father, he wants to give Brian everything he never had. He is one of those new fathers, doing his part and forever taking photos and sharing on Facebook. But one day his wife, Emma, starts acting odd. She doesn’t believe Brian is their baby. When the unthinkable happens, Apollo is drawn into a new reality, one where New York harbours something out of fairytales.
The Changeling is a dark but engaging story. It plays on the fears of being a new parent, that you won’t love the child like you should or that something terrible will happen when your back is turned. It also gives a whole new meaning to internet trolls, intertwining ancient folklore with the modern age.
Maybe having a child was like being drunk. You couldn’t gauge when you went from being charming to being an asshole.
Apollo is a used book dealer, and the only other black man in the trade is his friend Patrice, and they are often viewed with suspicion. They stick together but when Apollo finds a signed first edition of To Kill a Mockingbird, he keeps it quiet. If the find seems too good to be true, it’s the key to leading them down the rabbit hole.
Where a white protagonist could walk to his destination at night without a second though, Apollo is challenged for nothing more than being a black man in a white neighbourhood. As well as the supernatural fear, there is this constant niggle that he might not make it because of his skin colour. It makes me want to shout at him when he lingers too long over a genuine crime, get out of there now!
The world is full of glamour, especially when it obscures the suffering of the weak.
The Changeling is published by Canongate and will be available from 5th July 2018 in paperback and ebook editions. Thanks go to the publisher for providing a copy for review.
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Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free of charge for review purposes only. Receipt of a book does not guarantee a review or endorsement. My reviews are my honest opinion and are not biased for the purpose of personal gain.
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