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, November 25, 2010

All our worldly goods

I'm wondering how many readers are able to read this out of the shadow of Suite Francaise! For me, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, but most of my comments, I fear, are also tinged by the other book. Anyway. You all seemed to feel the same, so I'm reassured.

I loved the language, characterisation and authorial willingness to have both joyful and dark elements together. While life is like that, of course, I find many authors seem to have a moral objection to depicting one or the other in their final picture, and it's refreshing to have a good blend. Neither soft soap nor nihilism.

It is complete, unlike Suite Francaise of course, so neater, but I felt also it lacked some power from the reduction in scope. It doesn't haunt me in quite the way the other does. But I am also conscious that Suite Francaise would probably have delighted me less had I read the version as it would have been, had it been finished, since it sounded a lot bleaker! But who knows. If any of you haven't read Suite Francaise, get yourself to a bookshop quick. It is not to be missed. I wouldn't have said that about this novel, but it's scarcely fair to compare anything to Suite! On its own terms, I loved reading it and was glad to have read it.