Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist
poliphilo

A Change Of Climate: Hilary Mantel

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. 
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