Book Reviews

‘The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you. And now, here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out, and taken yours.’ Alan Bennett

“Many a book is like a key to unknown chambers within the castle of one’s own self.” ― Franz Kafka

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Grace and Mary - Melvyn Bragg

I really liked this novel, set in Cumbria, which tells of John, who is in his seventies, and his mother Mary, in her nineties, and of her mother Grace. The chapters take us back and forth between days in Grace's life and those of John visiting Mary in her nursing home by the sea in Cumbria. It deals with relationships, our pasts, and our memory; Mary is at times losing hers, and John hopes to restore it if he can a little with recollections and imaginings of the past.

Written in wonderful prose, this was a delight to read, very moving and engaging indeed, beautifully drawn characters and a very well told story of three generations, incorporating historical detail and social history and with a rich and atmospheric sense of place. 

It's told so well within this length - about 250 pages - and reminds me that some novels can accomplish this perfectly well, whereas some that are so much longer these days don't achieve half as much. I haven't done it justice here but this is a very good book.

Thanks to Amazon Vine for the review copy.

1 comment:

  1. A short book that spans generations ? I agree, not many stories manage to pull that off. Must be really good! I'll add it to my TBR list. :-)


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