Monday, August 18, 2008

When the World Was Steady by Claire Messud

Emmy Simpson — from Australia, and recently divorced — decides that she needs to “get away from it all” for a time, so she takes a trip to Bali. There, she climbs the sacred mountain, Abang, and meets some interesting people. Buddy Sparkes & his son, Max, are living in Ubud (they, too, are originally from Australia), and they invite Emmy to stay with them for as long as she wants. She does, and finds it queer, but exciting.

Emmy’s older sister, Virginia, still lives in London, England, with their mother, Melody. Virginia is trying to make sense of her life and her faith, and her mother — who believes she’s going to die — schemes to get Virginia to take her to her ancestral home on the Isle of Skye, in Scotland.

This book had that wonderful, slower rambling to it, but because of the travelling bits, it still was exciting enough to not actually feel “slow”. It was just the kind of fictional tale I needed right now. It provided a nice “escape”. There was quite a bit of coarse language in the book, but I overlooked it, and am glad I did.

The ending wasn’t what I expected… in fact, it was kind of anticlimactic. But, it was still a good story. I might look up other books by this author. This was her first novel.

Rated: B+

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