Archive for August, 2006

Rodney Hall, ‘The Grisly Wife’

The Grisley WifeThe ‘Grisly Wife’ was the the 1994 Miles Franklin Award winner, selected and hosted by Don in his Ashfield house.

We had a beautiful evening on the back verandah at Don’s home away from home.

However, there was not a lot of consensus about the Grisly Wife, in fact it was fascinating how different peoples reactions were to it and I have to admit that I was the most vehement of the negative camp.

In hindsight I can see that my negativity about the book was due my extreme dislike of the main character, and narrator of the book, not really the book itself. In a way I guess that is a complement to the author because he made me believe in the character enough to dislike her.

Others enjoyed it a lot more than me and everyone agreed that the author maintained the characters voice in a very convincing way. This was impressive as the character was a female, religious fanatic from the late 19th century, whereas the author is a middle class male intellectual from the mid 20th century.

It was a great bookgroup book because we all interpreted and reacted to the main character so differently. Perhaps the most polarising book so far.

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August 13, 2006 at 7:09 am Leave a comment


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