Lucy Swan is hoping for new beginnings; she has new clothes, an interesting hairstyle, and in an anonymous hotel room in a small northern French town, she hopes to reinvent herself. But this fresh start is tinged by tragedy, and unfortunately, Lucy never gets her fresh start. Her untimely death uncovers a web of interconnected stories, the significance of which only emerges as the story progresses.
In parts, this is a murder mystery, but underneath the sum of its parts it’s so much more than an investigation into a motiveless murder. It’s the story of how interrelated lives connect, maybe, sometimes on a superficial level, sometimes in a more complex way, but always with cause and effect which is at times quite profound.
Beautifully written and with fine attention to the more complex attitudes of life, the author manages very successfully to weave together a several stranded story without making the whole seem messy and over complicated. I enjoyed the character analysis of all those who come into connect with Lucy on her last, fateful, afternoon, and discovering the incongruent ties which bind them all together, makes for an interesting and very different sort of read.
If you like murder mysteries with an unusual twist, then Significance is certainly a story to consider.
Jo Mazelis is the author of short stories, non-fiction and poetry. Her collection of stories, Diving Girls (Parthian, 2002), was short-listed for the Commonwealth 'Best First Book' and Wales Book of the Year. Her second book, Circle Games(Parthian, 2005), was long-listed for Wales Book of the Year. Her stories and poetry have been broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and published in various anthologies and magazines, and translated into Danish.
Born and educated in Swansea Jo returned to her home town in 1991 after working in London for many years. During the 1980s she worked as a graphic designer, photographer and illustrator for the magazines City Limits, Women's Review, Spare Rib, Undercurrents, Everywoman and New Dance.
My thanks to the publishers Seren Books Books for my copy of this book.