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.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Yes, I quite agree about the best bit of the novel. Amazing. I agree there was some hard work to get there, but my feeling some weeks after reading is definitely afterglow, and I'm wondering who else I can buy it for. Always a good sign! I especially enjoyed the characterisation, and the way that Chae and Long Rob grow on you, for instance, without the need for direct authorial comment. I'm a big fan of being shown rather than told.

I could strangle the writer of the introduction, which helpfully spoiled every surprise the author had for me with Chris' private life. I do so wish I had been able to experience the book as intended. I'd be very interested to hear what a mercifully less informed reader made of it. Were they indeed surprises but in a natural way? They felt credible enough to me, but of course I knew they were coming. Grrr!

I also particularly enjoyed it having such a strong sense of place. It seemed such a distinctive pocket in space/time that I felt the effort required to read it was only fitting since the experience granted to the reader was one of a kind. But that is nothing, of course, to the devastation wrought by the war on that community. So, so powerfully realised. Extraordinary.