Lily was homeless/blogless this week, so this is her temporary abode, and her review is below:
Thanks to Cathy for taking in this temporarily homeless blogger. Middle son is to sort out my blog but problem is I haven't yet reached top spot on his 'to do' list. His moving to San Francisco for the summer and small things like finding an apartment and lots of work are currently higher on the pecking order than sorting his mum's online home. :) He assures me he will soon get me sorted so I will be back in action shortly. I'm looking forward to returning to blogging.
Back to the job in hand - A review of 'Let The Great World Spin' by Colum McCann.
I really enjoyed this book. It's quite a long read, and I don't know if it was just me being busy, thus taking up and putting down a number of times, but I found it took me a little bit to get to the stage where I was really enjoying it. It was very worth persisting though.
Colum McCann wove the story around an event which occurred in August 1974 where Philippe Petit walked a tightrope between the World Trade Centre towers. McCann very cleverly created a great work of fiction around this event.
The story is told through eleven characters in New York City; Corrigan, an Irish monk working in the Bronx with a group of prostitutes including Tillie and her daughter Jazzlyn, herself a mother of two small girls; Claire, wife of Solomen, a judge, who lives on Park Avenue; Lara an artist with drug and husband problems; Gloria mother of three sons lost in the Vietnam war. And more. In McCann's story, the tightrope walker remains anonymous and unrelated to the characters in the story.
Each subsequent focus on a character brings the whole story along with the thread of the tightrope walker (or should that be the rope of the ...!) weaving it together.
I liked McCann's writing style. His revealing of plot line is very clever. Very quietly he adds in the outcome of the court case brought against the tightrope walker through Adelita wondering about Corrigan's reaction to the outcome of Tillie's versus the latter's case, both cases being heard on the same day.
McCann could create very credible female characters. He showed great empathy with the female form. One could really sense Claire's loss and loneliness in her pent-house apartment. Yet life as a hooker down in the Bronx was equally credible. He could describe Claire not wanting to let Gloria go on the day of the meet-up and Gloria's need to get away.
The tightrope walker almost acted as a metaphor throughout the book, people's trying to achieve balance in their lives, dealing with death in Vietnam, dealing with guilt from causing a car accident, dealing with the loss of a loved one in that car accident ...
All except the final chapter of the book are set around the few days in August 1974. The final chapter jumps thirty two years to 2006. McCann in my estimation ended the book well.
In conclusion, the construction of this story is very different and very refreshing. I'd definitely recommend this book.