Mr. Fox by Helen Oyeyemi

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Mr. Fox has a muse named Mary. Mary is sexy, witty, sweet, and has all the features of his dream woman. Mr. Fox’s wife, a fairly ordinary woman, is beginning to pick up on signs that there is another woman in his life. Can she compete with a woman who her husband, a writer, has dreamed up for himself? How does a wife compare to the woman of her husband’s dreams? Mary, the muse, is not happy with the current situation. She wants to get out into the world and have a life of her own, and she is getting stronger and more rebellious. She is leaving more and more evidence of her existence for Daphne to find. Mr. Fox has to make some serious decisions. Can he let go of the woman he dreamed up to save his marriage? Is his marriage worth saving? How long can he keep his secrets in the shadows?

This novel is broken up by short stories which add a mystical tone to the novel, there is a touch of fantasy and a hint of folklore spread throughout the stories. The real challenge is remembering what is going on with Mr. Fox, because you get so swept up by the short stories that you forget about the main characters completely. The closest in genre that I can relate to this novel is Of Bees and Mist, by Erick Setiawan, but even that is a stretch, because the magical elements of the story are easy to differentiate from the psychological possibilities.

If you like novels that don’t fit into any genres, that push the barriers between sanity and insanity, that blur the lines between fantasy and reality, then you should give Mr. Fox, by Helen Oyeyemi a try.

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