Catherine Chidgey’s Latest a Sly Thriller
New Zealander Catherine Chidgey’s latest novel, Pet, set in 1980s suburban, Catholic Wellington, moves to a dark denouement powered by lingering uncertainty, Hephzibah Anderson writes in a review of the book for The Observer.
“Chidgey’s 2020 novel, Remote Sympathy, was set in Buchenwald and made both the longlist of the Women’s prize for fiction and the shortlist of the Dublin literary award for its devastating insights into the Nazi propaganda machine and the deadly role played by those who were all too willing to be duped. Now comes Pet, a sly psychological thriller that might seem to require a little less of the reader but saves its most sinister twist for the end,” Anderson writes.
“As satisfying a narrative as Pet is, lingering uncertainty is the source of its real power, enabling it to maintain its hold over the imagination long after the final page has been turned.”
Auckland-born Chidgey’s debut In a Fishbone Church, won the Hubert Church Award for Best First Book of Fiction at the New Zealand Book Awards in 1998.
Original article by Hephzibah Anderson, The Observer, July 2, 2023.
Photo by Ebony Lamb.