I'm sure many of you will be hard pressed to understand why scifi/fantasy webpage like us features a review of the 29th novel by Fay Weldon. I mean, she's novelist best know for her feminist work and for writing first ever episode of Upstairs, Downstairs. Well, I'm not sure Fay herself would love to be placed on the scifi shelf but Charcol Crescent is at it's heart a proper dystopian alternative timeline novel which strikes a bit too close to home, in a similar way that Handmaiden's Tale by Margaret Atwood once made everyone feel uneasy.
Set in a future Britain in 2013, in a timeline where economy collapse continued and eventually everything went tits up, Charcol Crescent follow the story of eighty-year-old Frances and her family which is filled with the various revolutionaries and goverment officials.
The sense of dread and unease literary leaks from the pages and by the time you get to the halfway point, Charcol Crescent makes further reading increasingly difficult. Because based on the latest news from the GSHQ and economics, it seems to much less alternative timeline, and more and more real.