Head of the Corner
At least I think it was charming, in a way that reminded me a bit of Virginia Woolf's trick of getting completely inside people's heads.
It was about a collection of mismatched variously flawed and self deluding characters who'd all found refuge as guests or workers in a convent on an small island off Ireland. They all thought about their lives while the convent set about closing down and moving to Europe. Half the dialogue was with people who weren't literally there - not including conversations with God and the saints.
But the points of view shifted and there was so much interior monolguing going on that I'm not entirely sure what happened at the end SPOILER ALERT Someone might have claimed to have seen a miracle. Press may or may not have descended. This may have been a foolhardy ploy to fake a miracle to keep the convent on the island. My real problem was that at the end "a familiar looking body" was found floating in the harbour without any more identifying clues. I could think of at least three characters it might have been including one who'd died and been buried in the island's cemetery that was meant to be falling into the sea chunk by chunk, someone who'd been said to have fled the island but may have killed himself instead of going home and the resident no-hoper who might have tripped over a sheep. But I simply couldn't work it out for sure END OF SPOILER.
And it was driving me crazy.
Over the next fortnight I had a couple of odd dreams about these Irish nuns.
In fact, I was so bothered by not understanding this basic plot point, I tried to find a review of the book. I mean on-line of course.
But I couldn't because it's from the late 1980s.
And then I found out that the author, sweet, clever and wise Ms Ingoldby passed away almost three years ago.
So I can't even ask her what she meant.
Maybe I should just set up a book club.
Labels: known unknowns