Magazine article New Internationalist

The Enchanted

Magazine article New Internationalist

The Enchanted

Article excerpt

The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, ISBN 9780297870494)

Beauty can be found in some very strange settings. For the narrator of Rene Denfeld's haunting début novel, the 'enchanted place' is death row in a high security prison. We do not learn the identity of this person until the very end of the book but we are under no illusions that he has certainly committed vile crimes which have led to his incarceration, counting the days to his eventual execution.

While he waits and dreams of golden horses running wild through the prison, he listens to the lives of those around him: the warden, grieving for his wife; the corrupt guards and the traumatized prisoners; and, most of all, The Lady and The Priest.

The Lady is an investigator, working for law yers attempting to overturn death sentences, and The Priest, unsure in his faith, is charged with easing the passage of those going to the execution chamber. …

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