Following the lives of four couples in Kent and London, Potholes and Magic Carpets appears to be a collection of short stories, but in fact interweaves and links each one as the author explores the actions and consequences of a group of very different people.
From the detestable to the naïve, we see how the characters in each tale link into the next, revealing their fears, longings and (of course) ulterior motives. As always with Joy Mutter’s work, there’s an underlying hint of menace that reveals itself as the book progresses. Having read quite a few of Joy’s books, I’m used to her distinctive voice, so this time around, I opted to experience it as an audiobook. The narrator—Tracey Norman—brings an interesting and thoughtful interpretation to the story, and to the writing, that brought it to life beautifully, much like reading a stage play before seeing the production.
Though nowhere near as dark and gory as some of Ms Mutter’s work, this is a curiously appealing and thought-provoking book.