Thursday, April 09, 2009
Two Splendid and Different Books
With things settling into a steadier muddle here, I got the chance to read two very good and very different books.
"The Gargoyle", by Andrew Davidson was just a wonderful, fact filled, fantasy of a story. After being horribly burned in an accident, the unnamed narrator,who also happens to be a druggie and a pornographer, just wants to die, and soon. When a strange woman appears in his room, he is sure she is an escapee from the mental ward. Marianne Engle begins telling him stories of their love affair in the middle ages, he eventually becomes intrigued with the sculptress of "grotesques", gargoyle like creatures. A love story, a history lesson, interesting and lovely, I enjoyed this book so much, I may end up giving it to every reader I know for Christmas.
"Sarah's Key" by Tatiana de Rosnay is a shatteringly sad and beautiful tale of a family caught up in the roundup of Jews in Paris by French policemen, under orders from the Nazis. When the pounding on the door comes, young Sarah sends her 4 year old brother to hide in a secret cupboard, locking him in and taking the key, thinking she will be right back. Today, a journalist and her French husband are moving into his grandmothers apartment, as she is researching the roundup for a sixtieth anniversary memorial. What she discovers, makes her search for Sarah, and her family, causing dissension and problems in her own life. A wonderful story, though sad, so well told, I want to read it again. Keep a tissue handy.