View Single Post
Old 12-21-2012, 01:11 PM   #5
paola
Wizard
paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
paola's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,701
Karma: 4748453
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: UK
Device: Pocketbook Pro 903, (beloved Pocketbook 360 RIP), Kobo Mini, Kobo Aura
Quote:
Originally Posted by fantasyfan View Post
I've finished the novel and I think that my comments in this paragraph are general enough so as not to need spoiler protection. I'll use them for those following--espcially the contentious final paragraph. I really enjoyed about 90% of the book. For many of the experiences described in Eyam, Geraldine Brooks drew heavily on anecdotal oral history fore vents in the village. She also did considerable research on the effects of the Plague and its physical and psychological effects on people from 17th century sources. the result is a remarkably vivid picture of the town and its population. The rector Michael Mompellion is partially based on the actual rector of the time, William Mompesson. But the central interest of the novel lies with the narrator who is so effectively delineated by Brooks.

Spoiler:
This focalising character and narrative voice is Anna Frith and in nine-tenths of the novel she is a compelling character. She had a very interesting blend of a practical nature, the ability to learn and use effectively practical skills--such as midwifery and herbal remedies--with an academic bent {she learned quickly how to read, learned Arabic and even Latin} along with a deeply introspective spiritual nature and a love of Nature.

Where I personally think this novel goes badly--disastrously--wrong is in the contrived final 10%. It seems that when Brooks had to take her character out of the plague-ridden Eyam she didn't know what to do with her and made up a denouement which--far from being a satisfactory resolution--really (IMHO} moves into melodrama and then gets her shipped off abroad. I feel that Anna's character in that final section loses a great deal of its meditative and reflective beauty.

Did anyone else feel this way?
Fantasyfan, thanks for the spoiler, as I only started yesterday and have read just about 20%. Only thing I'd say, I am not buying that the narrator is an almost illiterate maid: but I got over that, though, and I am enjoying the novel so far!
paola is offline   Reply With Quote