Friday, September 11, 2009

Unleaving: a review

by Jill Paton Walsh
(also known as Goldengrove Unleaving)

This book was in the children's section of my school library and I'm not sure why. Not that it's a bad book--it's well written and interesting and the prose often sings. ("And far out, in the distance, the lighthouse in a tissue of haze is just visble" (134).) There's a masterful interweaving of past and present which reminded me of several of Rumer Godden's books. But its themes are adult and though there are children in the book, the tone and philosophical discussions make it definitely not a child's book. Maybe young adult.

I'm still not sure if I like it or not. I tend to be fond of past and present interwoven, if done well and this was done well. And, despite the very gloomy outlook of several main characters, the book ends up affirming love and beauty. Madge is a very sympathetic character and Patrick, if not exactly sympathetic, is interesting. If you think you'd like a fairly quick read with some philosophical and moral dilemmas, set on the Cornish coast, you'd probably like this one.

Book source: my school library.


pilgrimchick said...

Cornish coast--an interesting setting. I agree that the themes sound adult in nature. However, the topic doesn't strike me, but that's just my personal preference. Probably the product of my reading so much history.

MaureenE said...

It is an interesting setting, and one of the places I wanted to go and didn't quite get to whilst I was over there.