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Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Still Point, Amy Sackville

This novel, which tells the stories of two couples, one modern-day and the other from an earlier era, is beautifully written, with a tight formal control (for instance, the story of the modern couple takes place over 24 hours, fulfilling the ideal of the unity of time of the ancient Greeks). Each sentence is hauntingly beautiful. The novel as a whole is incredibly well-structured.

Nevertheless, I was halfway through the book before I cared about any of the characters, and even at that point I only began to care for one. By the end of the book I was involved and caring and hoping for a happy ending. I did not find the book very engaging.

In spite of the novel's obvious strengths, I would be surprised if many readers actually liked this book. I would expect it to win awards for the skill the author brought to bear in crafting it, but I would not expect the normal, every-day, run-of-the-mill reader to care a great deal for reading it.

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