"The Miracle Inspector is one of the few novels that everyone should read, it's a powerful novel that's masterfully written and subtly complex." SciFi and Fantasy Books
Helen Smith crafts a story like she's the British lovechild of" Kurt Vonnegut and Philip K. Dick, only with a feminist slant." Journal of Always Reviews
"A beautifully written, and almost unbearably sad, depiction of a society's downfall." All-Consuming Books
From the Author
My favorite dystopian novels are Nineteen Eighty-Four
by George Orwell, The Handmaid's Tale
by Margaret Atwood, Brave New World
by Aldous Huxley, and The Children of Men
by P D James (which was made into one of my favorite dystopian films, Children of Men
, by Alfonso Cuarón). The Miracle Inspector
is a blackly comic dystopian novel inspired by my time spent volunteering as a mentor for exiled writers in London through British charity Freedom from Torture.
Rather than try to tell the stories of the people I met, I wondered what it would be like if I had to flee from London without money or possessions. How would I escape? What kind of reception would I get if I arrived somewhere without money or possessions, with little understanding of the culture? How would I know who to trust? That was my starting point. I hope people will finish the book asking some of the questions I started with.About the Characters
As I sat down to write, I had this image of a man and a woman sitting in their kitchen at breakfast time, unable to communicate--as if this was the 1950s and they had been locked into a stifling marriage for thirty years. But then it would become clear that they were very young --in their early twenties--and that the setting was a nightmarish future in which women have been stripped of many of the rights and benefits that we take for granted in modern society, and they have to be cautious about what they say, even in their own homes.
The young couple are called Lucas and Angela. I wanted the first half of the book to be Lucas's story and for Angela to emerge more strongly in the second half as she takes responsibility for her life and starts to find her voice. I had a good idea of how the story would unfold before I sat down to plot it. I wanted this young couple to try to flee London and for everything to go wrong.
If that sounds a bit heavy, I ought to say that although it's not as frivolous as my two earlier books, Alison Wonderland
and Being Light
, there's plenty of humor in The Miracle Inspector
. I hope readers will enjoy it, despite the moments of sadness.