Reviewed by Christen Krumm
The Miracle Inspector by Helen Smith was not quite what I thought it was going to be. With raving reviews on Amazon and promises of “one of the few novels that everyone should read…masterfully written and subtly complex”, I was excited to jump in. I will agree that it was subtly complex and maybe masterfully written, however, in an age where it seems everyone is writing the next best dystopian novel, this one left me wanting … more.
In the beginning, I felt that The Miracle Inspector tasted much like George Orwell’s great classic dystopian novel, 1984. The Miracle Inspector follows Lucas, whose chief job is to inspect possible miracles, and wife Angela, a government-forced home bound housewife, as they plot to escape the oppressed London to the Utopia of Cornwall. Lucas says numerous times, over and over, how much he loves Angela and how he just wants to escape with her to Cornwall, but with the amount of lusting after other women in the beginning chapters, I was started to wonder if he simply wanted to escape his guilt. Likewise, Lucas’s wife seems to only keep him around for the mindless sex. The only thing that made me want to keep reading was Jesmond and his mysterious letters and why his girlfriend never showed up to run away with him. In the end, even those answers fell flat.
I did find the way women were portrayed in Smith’s world interesting. The women were very oppressed and because they could only be housewives, there were not even women’s public restrooms anymore. Women were not allowed to converse with any other women other than family members, and they were largely confined to their homes.
It was said there was a plethora of humor throughout the book, however, I could not find it. I would like to think that maybe I just do not get British humor (back to brushing up on my BBC comedies I guess…)
I truly wish I could have enjoyed this book. I love a good dystopian novel, however, this one, with its half hearted love and dead ending finish, just left a bad taste.
Best Line: She wasn’t a spy, she was an unhappy girl, and it was in his power to make her happy.
Worst Line: All he needed now was a miracle, ha ha.
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Tyger Books. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.