Review: Wise Children by Angela Carter

I’m guessing that many of you have read/heard/know Carter’s Bloody Chamber! I myself read and wrote about it whilst studying for my English A level and I loved it.

The love for the short story collection inspired me whilst at Uni to pick up another of Angela Carter’s books: Wise Children. This is Carter’s last novel- written in 1991 and it is packed full of laughs and tears.

The book follows the lives of Dora and Nora Chance (it took me a while to remember and to get my head around which one was which) twin chorus girls and their family. The story begins on the twins 75th birthday and by bizarre chance it is the same day as their natural father and his twin brother’s 100th birthday on the 23rd April. This date is also Shakespeare’s birthday- highlighting Carter’s admiration for Shakespeare and the start of many references to this playwright’s themes: class, incest and his well-known use of false identities.

Dora Chance is the narrator of this tale and a lot of it is from her own memories: theatre performances, their rejection from their father, and time spent  in Hollywood filming A Midsummer Night’s dream.

The twins attend their father’s 100th birthday party where the reader finds out if he will finally accept them as his own and they leave with a surprising gift.

Full of twists and turns this book will have you laughing out loud and falling in love with the twins.


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