Fate vs Fact

The Coincidence Authority

One Midsummer’s Day, when she was only three years old, the girl they called Azalea Ives was discovered alone and lost at a fairground in Devon.

Occasionally something happens that seems too coincidental to be a coincidence and forces you to question if fate is playing a hand or if the odds just happen to be in your favour this time around. However when it seems like a stream of coincidences are ruling your life and determining your fate, you can’t help but feel a little powerless. The events of Azalea Ives’ life have all coincided in the most unexplainable way and in the search for a semblance of ownership of destiny, she seeks the guidance of logician Thomas Post but was this meeting fated as well…

J.W. Ironmonger’s The Coincidence Authority is part mystery, part philosophical debate, part love story – using the question of the explained vs the unexplained as an interesting centre point for the story to spin around. Azalea and Thomas bring a whole new meaning to the idea of star-crossed lovers as they play with the concept rather than act out the dream. They are painted so clearly and developed very naturally throughout the story that their inevitable attraction defies the obvious or clichéd, creating a partnership that you root for as they work around their differing philosophical outlooks.

Far from an airy-fairy romance novel where order (Thomas) and chaos (Azalea) meet and counterbalance, Ironmonger’s story is a realistic and natural read. He takes his characters from London to the Isle of Man, from Devon to Uganda, painting each visited setting with a clear geographical identity and significance. The story does become much more about Azalea and Thomas and their relationship rather than a question of fate on a larger philosophical scale with events becoming a little too predictable towards the end of their journey.

Ironmonger delivers an interesting and gently humoured tale on which you spin the wheel of coincidence and fate to see which side you would land on – the cynic and romanticist sides of me are still undecided!

3 star

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