LAUREL-RAIN'S PRESCRIPTION

WELCOME TO MY BLOG, WHERE BOOKISH DELIGHTS HOLD CENTER STAGE AND WHERE BOOKS HELP CHASE AWAY THE BLUES.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

AN INTROSPECTIVE JOURNEY -- A REVIEW

Kate Brown, who lives in the London suburbs, is happily married and the mother of four children. But she has reached a point in her life when she feels extraneous. Invisible,even. As her husband gets ready to leave for a conference in the States, she ponders what her summer will be like. And then an opportunity presents itself that will allow Kate to spread her wings a bit and explore another world. As she leaves for the position as an interpreter, she has no idea what will be unleashed over the next few months.

As we follow Kate's journey, we experience with her the joys of freedom, along with the risks. Will a foray into a brief affair bring her what is missing in her life? Or will the opportunity to earn her own money give her something she wants? But unexpected events turn these experiences into something quite different, as we see Kate's journey turn dark, with strange and symbolic dreams.

Then her journey takes her to a flat and a young girl who is on the verge of her life, while Kate is at a different crossroads. They share experiences and thoughts, and when the journey ends and the dark unfolds into springy lightness, Kate is ready to finally go home and rejoin her family. But she has a different perspective and a new way to be.

The rich symbolism throughout The Summer Before the Dark (Vintage International) reminded me once again why Lessing is such a great writer. Kate's recurring dream of a seal she is struggling to rescue and carry to safety reminds us that her nurturing aspects have controlled her life. She now must move on to something different. As she thinks about going home, she realizes something significant, as described in this passage:

"The mood she was in when she walked in at her front door again would be irrelevant: now that was the point, it was the truth. We spend our lives assessing, balancing, weighing what we think, we feel...it's all nonsense. Long after an experience which has been experienced as this or that kind of thought, emotion, and judged at the time accordingly—well, it is seen quite differently. That's what was happening, you think; and what you thought or felt about it at the time seems laughable, jejune."

There were parts of the novel that seemed very heavy with introspection, and the feelings evoked sometimes weighed me down. But then I moved on to the richly textured parts during which Kate arrives at her realizations. Definitely recommended for anyone who loves following a woman's journey toward finding herself. Five stars.

4 comments:

  1. Thanks, Meg...it was a "journey" to read this one, as with all of Lessing's books. Glad you could stop by.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This really does sound wonderful. I need more hours in the day just to read! Thanks, Laurel.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh, I agree, Joylene...there are so many books I want to grab! Thanks for stopping by.

    ReplyDelete

If you're feeling blue, try my prescription and read, read, read!! And if you'd like to give this blog an award, thanks! But I prefer your comments....

Click to Buy Web of Tyranny

Click to Buy Miles to Go

CURRENTLY READING

Laurel-Rain's currently-reading book recommendations, reviews, favorite quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists

Great Suspense!

TO READ

Laurel\-Rain's bookshelf: to-read

Mary Ann in Autumn: A Tales of the City NovelHanna's DaughtersMiss Hildreth Wore BrownElizabethSolomon's OakSolomon's Oak

More of Laurel-Rain's books »
Laurel-Rain's to-read book recommendations, reviews, favorite quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists

NETWORKED BLOGS ON FACEBOOK

MORE COLLECTIONS

MORE COLLECTIONS
CHECK THEM OUT!

Great Deals!