I really wanted to love this book. It sounded such an interesting idea - Mr Fox is an author, married to Daphne, and he is visited by his muse, Mary Foxe. She accuses him of being a "serial killer" and he tells her not to be "so sensitive about the content of fiction." So far, so good. There are letters between Mary Foxe and the author where she is a British born tutor and asks him to read his stories and I felt very engaged with the characters. Then the story jumps to different incarnations of Mary - as a florist, a model, etc. Interspersed with all these stories are other fables and stories, which were beautiful storytelling but which eventually seemed to make the book unconnected and were distracting. Because, undoubtedly, the best parts of this novel are those turning around the trio of Mr Fox, Mary Foxe and Daphne.
There is no doubt that Helen Oyeyemi is a magical storyteller, but somehow she has failed to produce a complete novel. I enjoyed her writing, individually the varying stories were wonderfully structured, imaginative and descriptive. I just wish that, somehow, the whole had been more tied together as I hate to say it, but I lost interest in the characters along the way. Yet Daphne and her marriage worries, the enigmatic Mary Foxe and their love for Mr Fox were wonderfully written. Flashes of brilliance here, but as a novel it fails to hold together, which is a shame as much of the book I truly did enjoy.