Psychological, Magical, Mad, Lily's journey on a long winding road and beyond...
After a loved-up adventure in a wood in North London, sixty-odd-year-old Lily drives off in her Classic Mercedes and takes a wrong turn. The day is unbearably hot, and the snazzy car's air-con is broken, blowing out hot air instead of cold. Lily follows the meandering road in a state of dehydration, and experiences a series of encounters with angels and demons and ghosts from the past.
As time begins to travel backwards, Lily knows that very soon she will find her way back to the city. But even when eventually she does, events nearer home seem to mirror her encounters on the long winding road that disappeared.
Plot/Idea: On an unbearably hot day in London, Lily gets lost on a seemingly endless back road, and what ensues is a journey into her past and present demons accompanied by the voice of her conscience/guide/constant companion Bella. Time-warping, mythological, hallucinatory, and symbolic, Lily's sojourn into the figurative/literal woods eventually brings her back home in a conclusion that is oddly reminiscent of her time on the purgatorial road —however, now grounded in so-called-reality, the 'real' people in her life become characters in her own personal drama in an unconscious echo of lost time.
Prose: Cacoyannis's prose flows in an appreciable rhythm with the cadence of Lily's 'lost' time: introspective, bleak, and quite often beautiful, it causes the oddity of events to feel full of meaning and purpose. The reader becomes Lily, struggling to find meaning where perhaps there is none—linked to her consciousness, the audience members are held in thrall to the heat-soaked imaginings of an all too plausible alternate reality.
Originality: A tripped-out journey into introspection and temporary madness designed to expand a character's worldview and explore their hidden depths is not conspicuously original. However, the setting, Lily herself, the manifestations of her past, and the somewhat banal yet oddly symbolic conclusion all lend this tense tale an originality that makes the story a real pleasure to read.
Character Development/Execution: Lily is beautifully developed as a character—empathetic, raw, and as honest as a first-person narrator can be, the reader is not only able to forge connections with her and her journey but with the figments of her past and present life who are given life through her various epiphanies and moments of introspection.
Date Submitted: April 06, 2022
"This is a marvelous mixture of fantasy, of examination of someone's psychological interior, and of the many sides that make up a person. For Lily, as for most of us, some of the sides of her personality are ones she doesn't want to face and some represent efforts to escape them. Lily is complex, but more to the point of a novel, she is entertaining. The story is entertaining, with Lily expressing herself with wit in the direst of circumstances and the situations described with symbolism, artistic metaphors and humor. Cacoyannis is able to peel away the layers of his characters' personalities in a way that few writers can. This makes his novels difficult to put down and the reader eager to pick them up and continue the fascinating story as we learn more and more of the characters' inner secrets.
In what now is an unbroken sequence of brilliant novels, Finger of an Angel more than holds its own respected place."
"The author delights in leading readers to the unsteady territory between the possible and the impossible. His writing is intentionally disorienting and unnervingly addictive as readers grapple to make sense of two or more separate realities sewn seamlessly together. Cacoyannis is known for his introspective protagonists, but in this exceptional novel he delves even deeper, excavating the darkest corners of the psyche. An erudite, richly layered, and unsettling psychological tale."