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You Made a Fool of Death With Your Beauty review: An easy read which fails to strike home

Brief moments of emotional tenderness are blotted out by the portentous descriptions of night-time exploits.

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you made a fool of death with your beauty
You Made a Fool of Death With Your Beauty is out now (Faber & Faber)

Akwaeke Emezi’s acclaimed You Made a Fool of Death With Your Beauty is a novel for a different kind of reader. Emezi does not let a signal detail of their characters’ loves escape our notice.

Feyi, a young artist living in New York, has struggled to recover from the death of her husband Jonah. Five years after that defining loss, she pursues a rapid series of lovers and bedfellows, wary of the long relationship which would betray her husband. Yet Emezi’s novel does not go much beyond that; brief moments of emotional tenderness are blotted out by the portentous descriptions of night-time exploits and instantaneous crushes. The language is almost free of nuance. If you want an easy romance, it’s an easy read. Ultimately, though, not a page of this novel manages to strike home. 

Patrick Maxwell is a journalist and writer.

You can buy You Made a Fool of Death With Your Beauty from The Big Issue shop on Bookshop.org, which helps to support The Big Issue and independent bookshops.

This article is taken from The Big Issue magazine. If you cannot reach your local vendor, you can still click HERE to subscribe to The Big Issue today or give a gift subscription to a friend or family member.You can also purchase one-off issues from The Big Issue Shop or The Big Issue app, available now from the App Store or Google Play.

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