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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Review - Margaret Drabble's A Natural Curiosity

Set in a small town of Northam in the 1960s the book encompasses the lives of three women Alix, Esther and Liz. However it is Alix that plays the pivotal role in this book and it around her that the whole story evolves.

Alix embarks on a kind of platonic relationship with an axe murderer - one who has decapitated his victims - five of them. Believing that even such a horrific act{s} can be explained, she goes in search of his exhausted father and finally ends up with his horrific, twisted mother.

Liz on the other hand is a psychiatrist but she puts her life on the line when she publicly states that the age of consent should be lowered and that child abuse should be "decriminalized". Not realizing what a hornets nest she has created by going public on national TV with such views, she carries on regardless. Her sister on the other hand in a kind of fugue, on seeing the body of her husband in the garage dead after a suicide attempt, locks the house calmly and goes on a trip hoping that the body and all its unpleasant consequences will be discovered after she has gone and that someone else will deal with it.

The concept of curiosity is very marked in all what the women do. Even the minor characters like Shirley who just walk away from unpleasantness is marked by her curiosity to see what is there outside the narrow confines of her life. Another feature of the book is the domino effect that is existing when three individuals are closely linked with each other. What happens in one persons life inevitably has an influence and some kind of effect on the other.

This was for me a heavy book to read. Right now I need some lightness and I think Susan Sallis has provided it! Time for a little historical fiction as well.  Offices here are gearing for the holidays which will start around the 10th of April. Practically every village will have its own little New Year celebrations of games and contests for all - not just for children but for adults as well. Pictures will follow of the festivities. Right now shopping areas are in a frenzy of last minute shopping.


Heather said...

I haven't read anything by this author. She seems not to veer away from difficult subjects. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. i won't be looking for anything by her right now as I also need something light to read.

kaye said...

Enjoy you holiday--and thanks so much for stopping by.

Blodeuedd said...

I have read a really good Drabble book. The red queen I think it was called. But yes she is heavy

Vicki said...

Wow!!! Sounds interesting! I haven't heard of this author before.