Arriving at Night
Flamingo, 347 pp, $19.95 pb
There is about Lisa Merrifield’s second novel a quality of aqueousness, an obsessive returning to states of immersion, whether in water, sleep, waves, a glass of gin. Hers is a superb exploration of the gelatinous margin between mind and world, innocence and experience, madness and sanity – those interregnums in the government of the self. And while it is from the weird clarity of this amniotic silence that Arriving at Night draws its various strengths, it is the same somnolence – the torpor of fiction in aspic – that comprises its singular flaw.