15.1.10

Unfinished Desires by Gail Godwin


As Mother Suzanne Ravenel begins a memoir of her 60-plus years at Mount St. Gabriel's School in Mountain City, N.C., she's forced to re-examine the toxic year of 1951–1952, one of her worst at the school—beginning with the arrival of ninth-grade student Chloe Starnes, who's recently lost her mother, and Mother Malloy, a beautiful young nun assigned to the freshman class. Starnes and Malloy's arrivals presage a shift in the ranks of freshman Tildy Stratton's cruel clique, with significant consequences for all involved. Change, when it finally comes, stems from the girls' attempt to revive a play written years before by Ravenel.

This is a mature, adult book about adolescent girl behavior. Not since Margaret Atwood's Cat's Eye have I read such a powerful novel about teenage feminine conformity, coercion, betrayal, jealousy, secrets, and love. Godwin creates a labyrinth that begins with a simple layer and gradually builds to a complex and knotted snare. I was pulled in from the opening pages as this rich, multi-generational tapestry is woven as if from the loom. The book never loses steam, and the lyrical rhythm amplifies as the story builds. Godwin designed an absolutely beautiful brocade of a book. She sublimely and organically explores the conscious, unconscious, and subconscious layers of the human mind and all its dark and light attributes while she braids a tale of intrigue, desire, and loss from the fabric of memory.

4 comments:

LyNa said...

uh... I try that one!

SOFIA'S MIRRORS & LIGHTS said...

cool story! I try sooner!

kessenval said...

I know this author, but not this bok!

WOLDEN said...

my favorite author! I like that!