Thursday, 10 November 2011

The Go-Between

The Go-BetweenThe Go-Between by L.P. Hartley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A stunning, heartbreaking book set in the forgotten world of pre-First World War England. I was not sure I would get on with the novel at the start, I found the opening quite slow and the use of memorabilia a rather cliched way of going back in time but when the story really got going it had me hooked. I was struck by the vulnerability of Leo and the utter selfishness of Marion, but most of all by the powerful way in which the author brings the household and all its members to life. I am always interested in how authors deal with memory, both that of individual characters and collective memory such as a significant moment of history, and what makes The Go-Between so painful to read at times, particularly near the end, is the knowledge that the First World War will consign every detail of that society to history and that few of the male characters to whom we have been introduced will survive to old age.

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