23 March 2007

where the end will begin

‘Lavender mountains with a snail trail spittle of last winter’s snow’

Nadine Gordimer describes places with a poet’s eye. And read a line at a time, would have satisfied my desire for beautiful writing. But as a novel it felt cluttered and clumsy. The narrative style was complicated and made it nearly impossible to tell who was the storyteller at any one time.

I disliked Rosa Burger and felt unable to engage with her. I couldn’t relate to her. She lives in a way that is foreign to me. There were huge differences between us, not just because of the oceans that separate us, but in the way we live our lives. Perhaps the only thing I recognise is being someone’s daughter. But then, maybe it is not necessary to feel an affinity with every character I read. I will have to ponder this on my further travels.

the navigator


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