Kismet, book review: ‘haunted by doubts about the authenticity of her life’

Luke Tredget

Debut novel writer Luke Tredget. Photograph: Nathan Small

How well do we really know ourselves? How compatible are our partners? Are we too reliant on digital technology to guide our romantic choices? These are the big questions threaded through Kismet, the whimsical debut novel by Highbury-based Luke Tredget.

Anna is a depressed journalist on the cusp of turning 30. Pete is her long-suffering partner. Anna’s days are haunted by doubts about the authenticity of her life. She writes sponsored content for a news website, neglects to follow through on her creative impulses and struggles to connect with Pete’s worldview.

Kismet: Destiny, Fate.

Kismet [n.] /’kismet/ Destiny; Fate

So Anna decides to play the field on Kismet, a dating app that matches people on the basis of their online behaviour and purports to know its members better than they know themselves. Her amorous wanderings lead to a series of dramatic twists and turns that force her to confront her identity crisis head-on.

Though very much of its time and place, the narrative flows easily and includes some nice psychogeographical cameos. Kismet will make relaxed summer reading for 20- and 30-something north Londoners.

Kismet by Luke Tredget is published by Faber & Faber.
RRP: £12.99.
ISBN: 978-0-571-33487-2.