Muriel Spark on Faith


or is it?

from The Girls of Slender Means
Muriel Spark

Jane was suddenly overcome by a deep envy of Joanna, the source of which she could not locate exactly at that hour of her youth. The feeling was connected with an inner knowledge of Joanna's disinterestedness, her ability, a gift, to forget herself and her personality. Jane felt suddenly miserable, as one who has been cast out of Eden before realising that it had in fact been Eden. She recalled two ideas about Joanna that she had gathered from various observations made by Nicholas: that Joanna's enthusiasm for poetry was limited to one kind, and that Joanna was the slightest bit melancholy on the religious side; these thoughts failed to comfort Jane.

The Girls of Slender Means really does play to an ensemble class. While Jane and Nicholas do occupy a large portion of our attention, there are interludes of Joanna, Selina, Greggie, and others, so that no one voice seems to dominate the novel. And what Ms. Spark has to say about the life of faith comes through crystal clear in the persons of Joanna and Collie and in the excerpts of poetry included.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on May 18, 2006 12:11 PM.

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