"One floor above Lenny and Colin, Miriam was screaming that she wouldn't get undressed."
So, by now you will no doubt have read that the winner of the Bailey prize has been announced, and here am I still not through the shortlist! The Dark Circle, did not take out the prize and I'd have to say I definitely preferred The Power and am not surprised that it won. Now to the matter at hand, I have to admit to being a little nervous about reading this particular novel due to the subject matter. Reading the synopsis - a brother and sister being sent to a post war tuberculosis facility in Kent - did not send me running to the bookstore for a copy. Nevertheless, the novel is intriguing and surprisingly drew me in.
The writing seemed a little uneven, much like the plot and while there is much to recommend, ultimately this tale left me a little cold.
I found it difficult to relate to the protagonists and that distanced the story somewhat. What is far more successful is the sense of youth trapped in a cage, as Lenny and Miriam come to grips with their unusual new surrounds, peopled with characters very different to their familiar circles.One of the quotes on the cover makes reference to the great sense of atmosphere and I'd have to agree that Grant's strength is creating a sense of place.
I will be looking forward to see what my reading buddy Nicki thinks of it when I lend it to her.
4 out of 5 patients have patience.