Sunday, 14 September 2014

Girl Reading: A Novel Review

In Girl Reading, Katie Ward imagines the story behind seven pieces of art depicting girls or women   I bought the book because I love this idea.  Besides the subject of the art, each story and piece is entirely different and seemingly unrelated until the clever final section. 
            Ward displays her writing and research ability by jumping from a painting of the Annunciation in 1333 Siena to a flickr photo in 2008 to an imagined futuristic art interpreter in 2060.  Reminiscent of Margaret Atwood, Ward is no confined by genre or time.
                It takes some effort by the reader to trust the author in each section.  Each chapter drops in medias res so that it is at first tricky to figure out who the main character is, who is speaking and what is actually going on.  Ward omits quotations marks and sometimes commas, causing the reader some sense of confusion.  While I was able to get used to this in Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, I found it continually noticeable in this book.  However, Girl Reading was still a genuine pleasure to read and I highly recommend sticking with it to uncover the fascinating jewels within.

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