The Imago Stage by Karoline Georges is the fascinating epitome of how reality and virtual living alters a woman’s life.
We begin with our protagonist and her unique insight on her life. She receives news that her mother is sick. As she processes this, she decides to visit her mother in the hospital. This is where her personal experiences begin to emerge. Her family history exposed, she must struggle with the truth of her alcoholic abusive father, and her mother’s grief and reactive numbness over multiple failed pregnancies.
The result is a woman who reads like an outsider looking in, as if her world views were an interloper to reality. Through this pain, she develops an obsession for virtual reality and the control she has within it.
As she continues her internal debate over seeing her mother in hospital and seeing her father again after years of distance, the reader gets a better backstory of this woman’s life and a better sense of who she is. The reader also gets a glimpse at the history of the world and its ever-evolving technology as our heroine tells her story and her role within it.
Karoline does a rich job of describing this familial dynamic and how the characters continue to develop through the pages. From beginning to end, Karoline shows the transformation of our protagonist, gently but firmly, without swaying the reader’s interest whilst still describing it from her detached ‘outside looking in’ mentality.
Karoline Georges does a remarkable job as she creates two worlds for this woman, one set in 1980’s and 90’s, and one set virtual reality. Karoline is apt with her descriptions of a detached woman who cannot form real connections suffering from the challenges of her childhood and representing a superficial culture which is still present to this day. This is truly an amazing book that can be enjoyed by anyone.
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