Saturday 25 May 2024



'That man there, I'll tell you what it is about him. He's tired of being in his skin!'

Dr Mahe takes a holiday with his family on Porquerolles. The charm of the island and a mundane order of its residents are so removed from his own existence, that he finds them oddly captivating. 

His obsession with the place grows when he is called to help a dying woman who lives in poverty in the locality. While attending, he becomes captivated by the woman's eldest daughter, a young thing in a red dress. 

Said obession grows out of all proportion and worsens on each return to the island. As he becomes increasingly accepted as part of the fabric of the community, his psyche unravels, crumbling as his unhealthy relationships with the women in his life rot away his insides. 

I didn't find this a pleasurable read. The subject matter isn't easy to digest and it's not easy watching such a cold and unbalanced human being dissolve before your eyes. 

All a bit too bleak and harrowing for my taste these days and perhaps overblown and overwritten in some ways. The journey of the decline isn't one I'd wish upon others, but if you go in knowing it's not going to be easy, perhaps you be able to ride those glistening waves better than I (or Mahe) managed. 

The Mahe Circle 

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