Cleopatra and Frankenstein
Mellors’s debut novel, Cleopatra and Frankenstein, is a portrait of love and becoming, spread across marriage, friendship, addiction, art, trauma, and all of the ugly and sparkling things left in their wake. The story begins with a RomCom meet-cute, young British artist Cleo running into middle-aged successful Frank in the elevator during a mutual friend’s New Year’s Party in the wake of the mid-2000s. Following their quick love and quick marriage, the narrative does not rely on plot as it weaves itself across the different characters that make up their lives: Cleo and Frank themselves, as well as the friends and family who step in and out of the scene, a RomCom cast fitting of both the novel’s story as well as its understanding of imperfect human relationships and what they reveal about identity and self.
Mellors’s voice is self-conscious and indulgent but aware, using its understanding of the ego to propel the novel’s themes on building one’s identity in the wake of trauma and personal growth. The narrative is brutally honest, indulging in the imperfections of human life as well as the ego built around a stereotypical bohemian sadness, while at the same time observing and giving grace to the fact that becoming better is often an asymptotic pursuit.
|Page Count||378 pages|
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