A Far Cry from Kensington

| | Comments (1)

This may be the last of my explorations of Dame Spark for a while--it is time to cleanse the palate to receive other delights. (The palate cleanser shall be either The Rule of Four or Throne of Jade. I'm inclined to the former as a new e-book translation of the Hypnertomachia Polyphili has recently become available on the web.

A Far Cry from Kensington joins The Girls of Slender Means and The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie as one of the top works in Ms. Sparks repertoire so far as I have read it. It is unusual in that it is written from a first person point of view--Ms. Spark being a rather distant mother even to these fictional offspring, doesn't often indulge in a first person presence.

The story centers around Nancy Hawkins, an editor at a small publishing firm that is going out of business. When she insults the lover of a famous and reputable author, she is dismissed from the position and sets in motion activities that result in the death of an acquaintance.

One thing that did leave rather a bad taste in my mouth is the final section , indeed nearly the last lines of the book, in which the heroine reclaims some of her own. The problem is that there is entirely too much relish of the revenge taken and it upsets the mood and tone of the rest. Perhaps this is deliberate. Perhaps not so. Either way, it was disturbing, in part because I was all too sympathetic to the action.

The prose is polished, smooth, remarkable in its pristine clarity. The book was indeed a joy to read.

Despite what I said above, I now have to move on to Descent into Hell for a book club. However, I may take a brief diversion into The Rule of Four which I have heard described as a literate The DaVinci Code.

As to Ms. Spark's book: high recommended.

Bookmark and Share


I thought the Rule of Four was an inferior imitation of The Secret History by Donna Tartt.



About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on June 5, 2006 6:54 PM.

Amusing Bits was the previous entry in this blog.

Counting from Pentecost is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

My Blogroll