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Tony Grist

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A Change Of Climate: Hilary Mantel [Feb. 24th, 2012|10:48 am]
Tony Grist
Ralph and Anna Eldred are professional do-gooders- former missionaries, tireless charity workers- who divide the human race into "Good Souls" and "Sad Cases"- the people who help and the people who need helping.  That is for public consumption. Privately they are well aware - from personal experience too painful to be aired- that some people fall into neither category and are simply and incomprehensibly evil. 

Mantel thinks of this as her stab at a "Victorian novel". It has a rural setting, cute kids, adultery, middle-class people struggling to be nice, a family secret. So far so Joanna Trollope, but... 

The cosiness is illusive. Books that are described as unsettling or shocking rarely are. You put them aside and they haven't darkened your day. This one is different. 

[User Picture]From: michaleen
2012-02-24 11:18 am (UTC)
Sounds like Mantel excels at ugly.

Are some people simply evil? I don't want to believe it, but suppose there must be little doubt.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2012-02-24 11:24 am (UTC)
She does ugly very well, but she doesn't labour it. She leaves plenty to the imagination.

She can also do beautiful. And when she chooses she can be very funny.

I find it hard to accept that some people are purely evil. So do Mantel's characters.
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[User Picture]From: michaleen
2012-02-25 11:47 am (UTC)
She sounds a great author and thanks as always for these great little reviews.
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From: (Anonymous)
2012-02-24 04:57 pm (UTC)
On the strength of your review, so far, I am getting the book to read.
Love Jenny
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2012-02-24 09:47 pm (UTC)
Excellent. I'm really taken with Mantel. Thanks for introducing me to her.
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