Okay, so that’s an exaggeration, but my grandmother used to say that and it’s nice to have an excuse to throw it in there.
My problem with this book was that I wanted to be blown away by it, and while I DID like it, I only liked it as a friend. Barbara Vine is such a good writer, and that’s what made me even finish it, and while Gerald’s story is compelling and tragic, and Ursula’s too, I found it often tedious and wondered what the point of some of it was — the fucked-up “relationship” one of their daughters conducts, for example.
SCRATCH ALL OF THAT. Strike it. Reverse it. I don’t even know how I feel about this book. I’ve been trying to write this for days, and the fact that I’m still thinking about the thing I felt fairly lukewarm about makes me think perhaps I’m mistaken. I agree with Valyruh’s outstanding review, which is far more eloquent and less conflicted (and which I tried unsuccessfully to link to); I think with a few more days’ reflection it’ll sink in for me even more. It may be that the life of perfection with issues lurking beneath the surface theme, which is not uncommon, after all, is handled a little too well here! It’s pretty uncomfortable, and ultimately takes a little time to feel satisfying. But as I said, I don’t even know right now!