REVIEW: The Little Snake, A.L. Kennedy

Friday, 9 August 2019

This is the story of Mary, a young girl born in a beautiful city full of rose gardens and fluttering kites. When she is still very small, Mary meets Lanmo, a shining golden snake, who becomes her very best friend. The snake visits Mary many times, he sees her city change, become sadder as bombs drop and war creeps in. He sees Mary and her family leave their home, he sees her grow up and he sees her fall in love. But Lanmo knows that the day will come when he can no longer visit Mary, when his destiny will break them apart, and he wonders whether having a friend can possibly be worth the pain of knowing you will lose them.

The Little Snake is a sharp, powerful tale that explores the relentless, horrifying nature of war and its unrelenting impacts on the young girl at the novel’s centre. It is a novel (novella?) that can be easily accessed by people of all ages but that does not mean, in any sense of the word, that its content could be considered easy reading. Instead, by allowing its narrative to be presented in a way that could easily fit into the definition of a modern-day fable, it allows the conception to follow that of the young protagonist whose experiences centre the book; revealing atrocities and the slow, incessant spiral into war through the naive, innocent mind of someone who should never have had to witness them. Its intricate rumination on human greed, war and senseless destruction pours doubt over the claim that we are living in the most peaceful time in human history, and that if we are, that can only be claimed as true in a western framework; thus, widening our conception of the world, drawing attention to the places both alike and distant from our own homes and how, until evil rises, no city or country is exempt.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Head on over to for this book, as well as all of the others featured in my reviews, complete with the added bonuses of free worldwide shipping and bringing a little joy to my life.

No comments :

Post a Comment