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  • ISBN10: 1841958697
  • ISBN13: 9781841958699
  • Hardcover
  • 224 pages
  • Canongate Books Ltd

Girl Meets Boy: The Myth of Iphis
by Ali Smith

Reviewed by ozman1

Rating: 3 out of 5

  • Posted 14 years ago
  • Viewed 3353 times, 0 comments
  • Average user rating: (4.3/5)

Inspired and original retelling of the story of Iphis

Ali Smith tells Ovid’s story of Iphis from his Metamorphoses. Set in contemporary Scotland, the story of a girl brought up as a boy to avoid her father’s anger goes through a considerable metamorphosis itself. Girl Meets Boy is essentially about two young high achieving sisters Anthea and Imogen (Midge) who both work for a water company called Pure.

It is about learning from grandparent mentors and applying it to the only life you have and being honest with life’s choices. It weaves in and out of cultural and television references that everyone experiences once in a while. Both girls have bosses with high expectations of them. Anthea’s relationship with Robin Goodman is the inspiration for the re-telling of the Iphis myth. Robin is a young lady and eco-warrior who recounts this myth to Anthea as they become lovers. Both sisters are unconventional and think carefully about gender issues. Their grandparents have passed these views on to them and both girls question their sexual identity. Midge is framed in a very heterosexual way and forms a relationship with the less impressive Paul.

Ali Smith explores her chosen myth in a very thoughtful way by inserting an interesting subtext around it about the myth making that goes on by bottled water companies making a rich living at the expense of public gullibility.

There is much warmth and word play in the telling. There is also inspired and original writing. The name of the bottled water product is given the name ‘Eau Caledonia’. But Ali Smith gives us more than mere water to ponder in Girl Meets Boy.

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