Set in the near-future, Junior and Henrietta live a comfortable, solitary life on their farm, far from the city lights, but in close quarters with each other. One day, a stranger arrives with alarming news: Junior has been randomly selected to travel far away from the farm. The most unusual part? Henrietta won't have a chance to miss him, because she won't be left alone—not even for a moment. Henrietta will have company. Familiar company.
Foe is a philosophically bewildering and psychologically triggering novel. Reid’s depiction of Junior’s and Henrietta’s existential crises forces the reader to engage with questions of romantic relationships, identity, technology and the nature of humanity ... Reid brilliantly executes his vision through short chapters filled with well-crafted internal and external dialogue ... With Foe, Reid has written a page-turning novel that will entertain you and have you questioning the very foundation of your existence at the exact same time.
When Iain Reid’s debut novel I’m Thinking of Ending Things came out in 2016 its over-the-top psycho-thriller plot drew a number of apt and complimentary comparisons to the films of M. Night Shyamalan. These are likely to continue with the publication of Foe, a very similar but deeper work ... Both Shyamalan and Reid are masters of suspense. Foe reads like a house on fire, and is almost impossible not to finish in one sitting ... You know that twists are coming, but they’re not easy to figure out. Only when it’s over, and you have time to catch your breath ... If Foe were just a thriller it would be a catchy beach read, but it’s not a book without further layers ... an otherworldly hothouse of introversion and fantasy.
Reid is back with another harrowing, strange story in Foe ... unlike many a futuristic novel, Foe doesn’t try to tell us that this future is good or bad, safe or unsafe, progress or collapse ... As with Reid’s previous novel, the plot here—the actual storyline—is far less important than the mood and discomfort it conveys and the glaring question marks it brings up ... Reid’s spare writing somehow manages to convey urgency, discomfort, an uncanniness, while leaving large swaths of the character’s personalities and the setting to readers’ imagination. But he gives us enough, just enough, to keep us hungry up to the marvelous turn of an ending.