This popped into my inbox today. Barb offered an honest review and, as is her modus, she has incorporated it into a post on lying. Both her thoughts and her review are worth a read.
I heard a story about WH Auden; students were discussing a poem of his when he slipped into the back of the lecture hall. He listened and, eventually, the lecturer, who had seen him, unlike the students, asked Auden to comment on the students deconstruction. ‘I’m amazed,’ said Auden, ‘at how much they have found in it beyond what I intended.’ This review, the way in which Barb has deconstructed the themes and characters, feels a little like Auden felt: did I really achieve all of that? And therein lies another conundrum for a writer: the closer you are to a work the less you see of it. On a course I went on early in my writing life, we were advised that publishing a book meant you no longer owned it. Every reader now owned it and took from it something different to everyone else including the writer. Their views and opinions, what they thought worked and what didn’t was entirely valid, just different. Which brings us back to Barb’s post on liars and looking, not at the lie but at the outcome. Food for thought, methinks.