Saturday, 5 May 2012
I finished this yesterday. I certainly found it beautifully written and an engaging read though it wasn't quite the page turner that The Song of Achilles was. I only discovered after finishing and checking some reviews that Ozick had written it with Henry James' classic The Ambassadors in mind. I was not familiar with that novel but looking at its synopsis I could quickly see the link. I felt its wider social themes such as the American Dream,post-War anti-Semitism and post War recovery in Europe and the US as well as the stirrings of the Cold War were well realised without over-powering the family drama at the heart of the story. Given that Ozick was an adult during the 1950s it is perhaps not surprising that the sense of detail in the setting felt just perfect.