Cecily's book reviews

In general I've written reviews of every book I've read since I joined GoodReads (RIP) in May 08, along with one or two I read prior to that. More recent reviews tend to be longer (sometimes a tad too long?). I always carry a book, though I don't get as much time as I'd like to get engrossed - life is busy, but in a good way. Too many of my favourite authors died without writing enough! Apart from reading, and writing about reading, I enjoy Scrabble, good restaurants, woodland, and attending the theatre.
Clock without Hands - Carson McCullers Published in 1961, this story is set in a small town in southern USA. The overt story concerns race, justice and to some extent mortality, though there are plenty of other threads. However, it's the examination of the protagonists' views on race that are most interesting and, to some extent troubling, especially to the modern reader as the N word and variants are used quite often, albeit as a noun/statement, rather than necessarily as an insult.

It plays with one's sympathies very effectively. For instance, the old judge is a very traditional white southern patriarch. He is keen to retain segregation, yet strives to be generous to the black people who work for him. Is he bad, a product of his time, or both?

As with all her writing, this is distinctively McCullers, with a lovely, lyrical feel (she was a trained musician).

I expect there are some that would like such a book to be buried and forgotten, but I think the fact that it would be hard to write it now is all the more reason to keep and read it. McCullers' is clearly on the side of equality for the African-American community, but she makes it plain that it is not a straightforward issue of right and wrong or good and bad - and that message is at least as relevant now as it was when segregation was the norm.

Currently reading

The Illustrated Gormenghast Trilogy
Sebastian Peake, China MiƩville, Mervyn Peake
Gormenghast
Mervyn Peake