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The Origins of Iris

author: Beth Lewis (2021)
date read: 27 December 2022
rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

This is a tricky book to describe. It’s about a woman who runs away to the forest to escape her abusive wife, and meets an alternate version of herself who made different life choices. They both carry regrets, and they learn that the grass isn’t always greener.

The book switches back and forth between “Before” (the events leading up to her running away) and “After” (what she does in the woods).

It gave me a lot of thoughts and feelings, and I felt a lot of sympathy for Iris. The “what if” concept is one that’s often explored, but I’ve never seen it quite like this – both Irises have flawed and imperfect lives, and there’s no moral that one is obviously better or more correct. It’s an interesting take.

I suspect it will hold up well on a second reading.

Heavy content warnings for abuse, sexual assault, rape, and suicide.

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