The Fish Girl is a beautiful, compelling and powerful novella. The concept is great, Riwoe has taken a literary character mentioned in passing who merely played their role and then was forgotten and given this character, the “Malay Trollope” a story, a personality, a life.
This short story was the perfect length giving the reader powerful insight into the difficult life of our character. I fell headlong into the story and found myself caught up in our character’s uncertain life. The ending is abrupt and harsh if you are unfamiliar with the original story, The Four Dutchmen by W. Somerset Maugham (as I was) but the chilling climax leaves the reader pondering the difficult lives of those powerless and living on the fringes. A worth inclusion in the Stella 2018 shortlist and is most definitely worth a read.