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by ady
Rated: E · Other · Opinion · #1213603
This is a review of Susanna Clarke's latest book, The Ladies of Grace Adieu.
So.... It is one of my goals this year to work on writing a little something about and picking out at least one decent passage from every book that I read this year. Reading was one of my favorite pasttimes. Unfortunately, as a working mother of two... I find that making time to do ANYTHING is difficult... much less finding the time to merely ENJOY myself. I hope to read at least one book a month this year. *Smile* The book that I read in January was The Ladies of Grace Adieu by Susanna Clarke. She is the same lady who wrote Jonathon Strange and Mr. Norrell. Clarke's new book is a collection of short, magical stories, retold in Clarke's witty and unique voice.

I am certain that all of Susanna Clarke's fans will find this book of great interest. It will likely be of  intermittent interest to those unfamiliar with Clarke's work as well. The prose is generally highly formal and stylized, which matches the tone of the stories but becomes somewhat tiresome over the course of a book. The plots seem to vary only slightly as well... making the book a bit tedious for anyone who would attempt to read all of the stories in a short period of time. Taken individually, each story has something to recommend it. I view this book as a television series. You can tune in once a week or so without losing interest... but it should be broken up with other programs. After all, Charmed was a great and entertaining show... but who would want to watch all of the seasons at once?!? *Wink*

One last thing to mention... this book is pretty. It is hard cover and comes without the obligatory book jacket that most books come with. Instead, the cover image of pink flowers ad vines is pressed directly onto a dark gray background. The book's look is surprising and draws attention right from the start. This was indeed a splendid marketing idea.

As for that passage or quote.... here it is:

"Poor man, you cannot even reconcile what you believe in your heart to be true and what you are obliged to write in the quarterly reviews. Can you go back to London and tell this odd tale? For I think you will find that it is full of all kinds of nonsense that Mr Norrell will not like—Raven Kings and the magic of wild creatures and the magic of women. You are no match for us, for we three are quite united, while you, sir, for all your cleverness, are at war, even with yourself." (p. 34)
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