Merrily Watkins #16; written by Phill Rickman and narrated by Emma Powell
I’m still wrapping my head around the emerging presence of the early pandemic in new fiction. In 2020 we dealt with contagion and social upheaval, and now, through story, we are reminded that we didn’t know if the whole world would fall off that cliff. We’ve gradually moved to a sort of stasis, and looking in the rearview mirror is particularly unsettling.
In this long-awaited sixteenth installment of the Merrily Watkins series, the shadow of the coming pandemic looms over Hereford and its environs, with the virus snaking through everyone’s minds – and maybe their bodies as well. As usual with Merrily, spirits may or may not be present as tragedy befalls residents near the River Wye.
Read or listen to the book to find out how death, contagion, Druid magic, and the poet William Wordsworth might be related. This book is shorter than others in the series, and the story is more simplistic / less subtle than its predecessors – but it’s still absolutely worth your time. As always Emma Powell narrates beautifully.
Although some nuance might be missed, one could enjoy reading The Fever of the World without much loss of contex.