29 August 2015

Innocence, by Penelope Fitzgerald

Oh blog, how I have neglected you... I will be better. I will, I will. Maybe I will even finish the post I started working on months ago detailing the many things wrong with Jupiter Ascending. Ay caramba.

So, apparently the only Penelope Fitzgerald books I've blogged about (or more accurately, mentioned) on here are The Blue Flower and even more briefly, Offshore. But they so won me over that I've been slowly working my way through her catalogue ever since. She is great. There is a wonderfully blunt, abrupt quality to her stories that totally knocks you off balance. Her characters are utterly strange but they never seem like caricatures, and they inspire sympathy even when they are utterly irrational or idiotic (which they frequently are).Her books are poignant yet funny, dark yet cheerful. You really should read them.

That said, Innocence was not as compelling to me. This is most likely because I was in the midst of packing, moving, unpacking, starting a new semester, and generally living an unsettled and somewhat stressful life. I did greatly appreciate the short chapters and brisk pacing of the story, but it also seemed a bit too random, probably because I wasn't able to properly focus on it. Sometimes it happens; you read books at the wrong moment. Sometimes the moment is wrong for any book at all, but the thing is, not reading anything at all just makes me miserable. Who knows, maybe I'll return to this one again someday and reconsider. For now though, I'd say that there are better Fitzgerald books to be enjoyed.

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