Maria Stanowska Stanowska itibaren Prey Boeng, Kamboçya
In the hands of a less capable writer, this 'what if Princess Diana staged her death and went off to live in anonymity' could have been very bad. In the continuum of Ali novels, however, I see this one as returning to some of the themes of Brick Lane and answering some of the questions that novel posed quite differently. What if you made a huge mistake very early in life and that mistake led you down a path of self destruction? Would your sense of duty mean you had to keep going down that path? In Brick Lane the answer was yes. Untold Story explores what happens if you say no. I had some minor quibbles with the characterization of Lydia Stackhouse, the person the Princess of Wales becomes after she fakes her own death. The emphasis on the trauma Diana experienced when her mother ran off with the polo player seemed rather heavy handed. But all in all it's a complex portrait of a troubled woman who learns very early in life that you can't have it all, that there are always tradeoffs, and ultimately that you have to choose yourself instead of trying to live for - or through - others.