I picked this up because I saw two references in one day Muriel Spark and then the next day, coincidentally, it landed on my desk at work. Now that I've finished it, I can't figure out why it sparked my attention. It was a grand soap opera discussed in small fragments of recollections, without the benefit of knowing the characters when the action was happening, concluding with the most anti-climactic ending ever.
Like another reader, I have read no other novels by Spark, but began this book hopefully. At first I was intrigued by the dilemma and the characters. Dame Lettie, for example, and the Grannies in the old-age home are memorable. But as the story wore on, with more gossipy flashbacks, it lost me, until I only skimmed the closing pages. The author makes her point about Death, but I ended without feeling satisfied.
This is the first book I have read by Muriel Spark and I admit I was a little concerned as to whether I would enjoy her work, but this story totally enchanted me. Although this subject matter could have been depressing, in this author’s capable hands this unique story of aging eccentrics was both fresh and inventive.
Another rich re-read. Very witty, and yet touching. Each of the old ones reacts differently to Death.
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