June 25, 2005

Condensed Milk

30. The Sea Change, by Elizabeth Jane Howard
This was an amazingly lovely book, a calmly unfolding masterpiece of subtlety, depth and clarity. It is written in four voices and set in three locations, and the characters and atmospheres are so real as to be sympathetic even at their worst.
Inexperienced Sarah by chance becomes the secretary of a famous playwright with a casting couch reputation; but Catherine-Parr-like she is the one left standing. While the other characters each undergo their own epiphanies around her, she learns and develops before our very eyes.
This is just the kind of book I would like to write myself.
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