Consider memory. At any time, a person’s mind potentially holds the sum total of all her experience, though she may not be able to access all of it. She may have forgotten details, until reminded by revisiting a place or picking up a keepsake. There may be memories too hurtful to recall, until the recounting of simpler things clears a pathway to them. There may be things that she cannot understand until the light of maturity suddenly reveals their meaning. Unlike a tale told chronologically, a novel based on memory contains its entire story in outline from the first pages on — although it remains unclear in detail, emotion, and significance until we have lived long enough in the narrator’s mind to explore her past from within. And Jane Urquhart, in the gradual unspooling of memory that is the essence of her latest novel, allows us to inhabit the mind of Liz Crane, her protagonist and narrator, as though it were our own. This is a novel about memory, nostalgic, partial, sometimes painful, but always intriguing.
October 4, 2010
Â· Judi Clark Â· No Comments
Tags: Cousins, Environmental, Jane Urquhart, Loss, Memory, Nature Â· Posted in: Canada, Contemporary, Family Matters, Literary, Theme driven, y Award Winning Author
A brilliant riff on Emily BrontÃ«’s WUTHERING HEIGHTS, this highly original novel is as bracing and wild as the weather itself, impossible to pin down, virtually plotless, yet sweeping all before it. Just as one speaks of a novel of ideas, this is a novel of emotions — emotions in their purest form, taking possession like a natural force, and largely divorced from the normal ties of cause and effect. This is not a book for those who demand realism and logic rather than a novel organized by poetic association and contrast. But for those who approach it as the unique vision of a poet who just happens to be writing in prose — wondrous prose — it is something very special indeed.