Together in Spirit

An online reading group ('TIS a reading group!) to bring together friends, and friends of friends, who aren't able to be in a conventional reading group due to constraints of time or geography.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Two caravans

I enjoyed this – read at pace and not with a view to writing commentary on it. It was probably only with such a light touch that she stands any chance of getting a wide audience, which the subject deserves. Thank goodness I grow my own strawberries and chickens! I noticed that research for this draws heavily on Felicity Lawrence’s investigative journalism and latest books, which I felt I ought to read anyway.

Structurally, I think she went on far too long and I could have done without the old people’s home ( where we met the Ukrainian Tractor’s anti hero again, quite unnecessarily) and the hippy camp and denouement in Sheffield. I suppose the ‘happy ending’ for the couple is necessary in this bleak world but I think it unbalanced the book.

What really did surprise me was that we didn’t return to the two Chinese girls, which I was expecting as she tied up all the other loose ends. Maybe the research was just too difficult? But as it was, I think it made an unsettling absence and was very effective. I don’t have the book with me, but I was very struck by the retort made by Lena (?) when interrupted in the car with Vulk, along the lines of … it is better to be paid for sex than not. Salutary.