Book Review

There’s Been A Little Incident: Accomplished debut novel about missing people in every sense

Telling a story ensemble style, from the point of view of many people, is not easy, but Alice Ryan makes it seems so as she recounts the tale of a young woman’s disappearance

Alice Ryan has produced an assured debut novel that is full of deep existential questions

The ensemble novel – a novel told from the point of view of many main characters – is a notoriously difficult form. I’d hedge a bet that many successful novelists have failed ensemble novels gathering dust in drawers or desktop folders. It may at first seem tempting to delve into multiple minds, but soon character arcs are flailing off course, timelines are clashing, and storylines are ballooning until they lose all momentum.

What a pleasure, ...