Book - 1998
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Random House, Inc.
Shortlisted for the Booker, winner of the Guardian Fiction Prize

Publisher: Toronto : Vintage Canada, [1998], c1983
ISBN: 9780679309376
Characteristics: 358 p. ; 21 cm


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aramonak Aug 18, 2012

This books' watery theme is matched in subject and style in beguiling ways. It's a story of the Fenlands of England and spans centuries of the lives of several families that settle there. They are described primarily to the extent that their history explains the primary narrator's life.

The life of Tom Crick, his family, and friends, is the entryway to an expansive and unexpectedly dramatic story which begins in innocense and ends in dissolution. The author seems to be saying that things work their way through and out like water building up or erroding the landscape in unpredictable and uncontrollable ways.

I was intruiged and entertained at the beginning, and enchanted with the use of language as it seemed to mirror its watery theme. At times I felt impatient to understand what had actually happened because the story was presented as it was experienced by a naive young boy. At the same time, I was well enough entertained and engaged with the story to continue. The ending left feeling melancholy. I have to admit I would have liked a happier ending, but things don't always work out that way, as I well know.

I wonder what other readers have thought of it. My motivation for reading it was to finish a book that was taken up by a book group I once particitated in. I'm glad that I finished it, and have another book to retire from my shelves. I can make room for another!

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