How do you categorize a novel in which the protagonist mostly listens and observes the actions of others, not judgmentally, almost like a psychiatrist who has no control except her ability to stay or leave?
Transit episodically tells the tales of people who surround Faye, the protagonist, a writer. The book opens with a spam email from an astrologer informing her that an important transit of the planets will save her from the feeling insignificant.
"What the planets offer, she said, is nothing less than the chance to regain faith in the grandeur of the human: how much more dignity and honour, how much kindness and responsibility and respect, would we bring to our dealings with one another if we believed that each and every one of us had a cosmic importance?"
Faye purchases the chart, then proceeds to act insignificantly throughout the book. Her encounters with her realtor, who helps her purchase a flat in London, her remodeler, her abusive neighbors below, her former lover, her fellow writers, her children, her cousin—all of whom seem to have some cosmic importance, reveal Faye’s Zelig-like ability to avoid confrontation, much less make an impression. Her role is to allow them to reveal their stories, one chapter apiece.
Transit is short and crisply written. I enjoyed it and recommend it.