Depths and Dragons is the story of Miriam, a Jewish woman whose spiritual identity is thrown into turmoil when her husband is killed in a terrorist attack in Tel Aviv. Starting a new life in France, she becomes friends with an elderly priest who brings her solace and existential confusion in equal measure. She eventually finds herself drawn into a circle of Cathars who are carrying on the traditions and rituals inherited from the Albigensians who were burned as heretics centuries earlier. The book is written through the channel of Miriam’s own consciousness, a kaleidoscopic whirl of her thoughts, beliefs, memories, hopes and regrets, interspersed with the voices of the dead, as she grapples with fundamental questions and straddles a fine line between sanity and chaos. It’s in this that Fox shows a very particular skill – not least for his remarkable ability to inhabit a female mind, but also for the incredible cohesion which he applies to Miriam’s diverse stream of thoughts, her ideas about God and immortality dovetailing immaculately with more immediate concerns about clothes and sandwiches.
This is a treasure of a novel, intelligent, touching and easy to read, flowing smoothly across its wide scope.
Depths and Dragons is available from the Skylight website and most major online retailers such as Amazon, where it can be purchased in eBook format as well as the standard printed edition.