Sunday, July 3, 2011

Review: The year of silence

The year of silence
(Madison Smartt Bell)
When I started reading this book, I was hoping to find a sad story about a young girl who died of an overdose and not much else. However, the book took me by surprise. It is about Marian, but it only revolves on the periphery. It starts furthest away from the focal point, converges to Marian and then recedes again.

And for a short book, it is fairly patient about the business. It reminded me about the movie Crash with a slightly fractured timeline. Towards the end, all the ruffled edges start coming together again. The book feels like a house of cards, very delicately put together, adding weights and then counter weights to keep the narrative balanced. The narrative itself is beautifully constructed with vivid imagery. The underlying theme of the book, Marian's life, is woven intricately like a thread through all the pages, keeping the book intact. The genius of the book lies in the narrative, in the small nothings that keep the other characters alive in our mind as we get to know Marian better.

All in all, a book I liked and enjoyed reading, albeit with a hint of sorrow. 

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