Though the ultimate purpose of the book does appear to be didactic – global warming and impending environmental catastrophe are generally accepted within the mainstream scientific community as proven fact – and the parallels between Dr Lipkin and the author’s own studies are probably the subject of at least a few fascinating interviews, the story reads well as fiction, creating each world entirely so that the reader becomes engrossed in the historical time and place along with the protagonist.
Donald Greig, a singer, writer and lecturer in film studies and musicology, associated with the Tallis Scholars and the Orlando Consort, proves with this novel that talent in one artistic form often carries over to other forms. Time Will Tell is darkly humorous and rich with detail.
Kiesbye’s writing is stark and matter of fact, which makes the children’s actions even more despicable—you don’t see them coming. The adults in the novel are very much secondary characters, which poses many questions. What values have the parents taught their children? Are the children doing these things just for attention?
Shames humanizes the unspeakable horrors faced by innocent people throughout World War II without romanticizing any of these events. Margit Wolf is sent to a concentration camp, a fortunate survivor among thousands who are not so lucky. While the novel is about a love story between a rising ballerina and established maestro, it is really Margit Wolf’s story that is told.
the interviews she conducted as a young journalist during the sixties. Reading the book you get the definite sensation that you’re experiencing a unique insight into rock stars like Hendrix, Cher, Mama Cass, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Pete Townsend and Mick Jagger.
Holmes likes to use language vividly and originally. Cars “crept to the curb on tire tiptoe”; a woman walks in a “toothache of time”. Holmes also uses patterns of imagery to convey her themes. In one of my favourite stories, “Nuts and Bolts”, a childfree couple choose not to spend a holiday with friends – the “same old bunch” with a third baby among them, but to stay in the city together.
The Bellwether Revivals has been compared to Brideshead Revisited, because of the brother-sister relationship and the social class element. The ending, however, is reminiscent of that of Sons and Lovers, that great coming-of-age working class novel by D.H.Lawrence, following in Thomas Hardy’s tradition.
There is an intense intimacy in Solding’s writing style. The words come as a confession: a kind of whispered tale that draws the reader in and invites collusion. The characters progress naturally through time, beginning with key moments of youth and awakening perception, and moving through coupling, and later parenthood.
Albanese’s story is that of triumph over what could easily be impossible odds. She proved herself professionally, earning respect from her male peers in a very competitive field, and tested her limits every step of the way. It would be easy to imagine Albanese saying to herself, “I’ve done this; I wonder what else I can do?”
Though the novel reads easily and won’t be easily left until the full truth of Jodie’s story is revealed, this is no comfortable beach read. There’s a depth to the theme and a richness in the characterisation that will stay with the reader. The power of friendship too, to winkle out truth and deeper meaning in life, is one that provides some redemption to Jodie’s story, though the powerful ending still comes as a shock.