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.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

All Our Worldly Goods

I feel this book if it were a painting, would be of the French Impressionist style. The story is not bothered by too much intricate detail, but lightly skims along the century to give an impression of the Hardelot family and the life they were leading. There are strong similarities to Suite Francais, but that book covered just a small part of the time scan of this and in greater detail. For that, it was for me, the more satisfying. However, I think that this was a skilfully written book that showed you, once again, the stifling customs and mentality of small town France, (small town anywhere?) and the fleeing of the population before the German advance. The personalities were brought to life well, with all their failings. Even the saintly Agnes did not like her daughter-in-law.

As a family saga, there was insufficient story but plenty of opportunities to flesh is out. Maybe the circumstances at the time prevented this. I could not recommend this book when I can recommend Suite Francais instead.