Well, it’s my last review of the year, as the two books I’m reading won’t get finished today. I’ll be sharing my highlights of the year tomorrow, as I never like to decide on them until the year is over, just in case. This review is part of my new reading challenge – a few other book bloggers and I have decided to read Dorothy Richardson’s “Pilgrimage” series of books over this month and the next 12 (as there are 13 of them). I’m not sure if anyone is collecting the combined reviews and posts, but hopefully the other readers will pop a comment on here so we can all navigate between the reviews. So, I give you …
Dorothy Richardson – “Pointed Roofs”
(Have always had, not sure when I got it, nothing written in the front!)
The first in her Pilgrimage series and I was glad to see when feeling a little trepidation that it’s the longest of the three in the first volume. But actually, my trepidation at approaching what was basically one of the first truly Modernist, stream-of-consciousness novels, and definitely the first written from a female perspective was misplaced, as it was actually not that hard to read, just being the interior monologue of Miriam, one of four sisters and 17 when we meet her, who goes to Germany to take up a position as an English Assistant at a school for English and German young ladies.
We do see everything through her eyes – confusions, gossip, scandal, and her impressions of her fellow residents have an almost Cubist aspect as we catch sight of them from different angles and in different situations, but it’s really not that much different from any novel which concentrates on the viewpoint of a single main character. Harder than the language and style, which really don’t seem THAT experimental nowadays, though were obviously ground-breaking at the time, was the amount of phrases in German, which were often but not always translated, and certainly not immediately (there was quite a lot of French, too, but I can read French OK). Hopefully this will diminish in the books set back in England.
It’s similar to one of the Whipples (was it?) in that – without scandal – Miriam is rather suddenly on her way home at the end of the book, as we leave this interesting, rich, absorbing and intriguing book – in my case, very much wanting to know more.
This book would suit … Anyone interested in women’s, experimental or stream of consciousness writing, Virago and Persephone fans
I’m currently still reading the book about not buying anything and “Quiet”, which is interesting but not quite as good as I thought it would be. Happy New Year to all my readers, and happy reading in 2016!