Rebecca Ascher-Walsh
February 08, 2008 AT 05:00 AM EST

In the latest of Canongate’s series in which contemporary authors retell ancient myths, Ali Smith loosely adapts Ovid’s Metamorphosis. So loosely, in fact, that Girl Meets Boy — about two young Scottish sisters, one of whom falls in love with another woman — seems more informed by Jeanette Winterson and Shakespeare than the Roman poet. Smith’s verbal deftness is extraordinary, with wordplay that would make even the Bard proud. But a weak plot centering on the slimy creative agency for which the sisters work isn’t enough to make this story stand on its own, let alone on the shoulders of Ovid. C

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