A couple honeymooning aboard a fantastical train encounter three eccentric passengers and a mysterious figure who seems to have a tie to each of them.
Buckle up because this is going to be a challenging review! This book is weird and wild. It’s excellently written and I really enjoyed it, but it is surreal and so hard to distill down into a couple paragraphs.
Although they decided not to marry, Otto, Xavier and their pet mongoose Arpad XXX have a honeymoon gifted to them aboard The Lucky Day, a fantastical train with magical rooms, an enigmatic owner, and two eccentric passengers responsible for keeping the train running and keeping the owner sane. Though each character has their own story, they weave together at crucial points until each one of them realizes that they are united by a single, mysterious man.
On board, we meet the owner, Ava Kapoor, who is in line to receive a massive inheritance if she can only prove her sanity. Helping her in that task are Allegra Yu and Laura De Souza. Why does she have to prove her sanity? Ava’s inheritance comes from a man with a son that Ava cannot see. Everyone else can see Premysl, but Ava cannot and no one knows if she’s being sincere or putting on an act. Interestingly, an incident in Otto’s past also points to Premysl being invisible, but others on the train have had interactions with Premysl, both as himself and under assumed identities.
The Lucky Day provides a fun setting and it is nice to see the characters interacting with various rooms on the train including a sauna, mail car, fully stocked kitchen, and a shopping bazaar. There’s a good amount of characterization and the novel moves deftly back and forth in time to tell each character’s backstory. There are moments where I felt the plot lagged, but I loved the humor.
This novel really pushes boundaries. It can be confusing at times, especially at the end, but is overall a fun, offbeat story. If you’re willing to delve into a totally zany work of magical realism, you might really enjoy Peaces. If it seems a little much, I might recommend some of Oyeyemi’s other works that are a little less experimental. I personally loved and highly recommend Boy, Snow, Bird as a place to start!
Have you read Peaces? PLEASE tell me what you thought! I need to hear other opinions!