Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Night Watch

Title: The Night Watch
Auhtor: Sarah Waters

I've always been keen on the Victorian period (and earlier periods), but history past the Great War just has not been my cup of tea. Therefore, I hesitated before buying Sarah Waters fourth novel in which she leaves earlier eras for World War II. I shouldn't have worried. This new novel is just as good, if not better, than her earlier ones.

Quite often, novels begin with the end and then you back pedal and move towards the end (that you already know) again. In The Night Watch, Waters just back pedals. We start out in 1947, continue to 1944 and end in 1941. This growing distance from our starting-point enhances the importance of the choices we make and our powerlessness over fate. My empathy for the lonely heroine, whose loneliness is contrasted with her earlier happiness, turns into something heavier than pity. She becomes one of life's pathetic losers, a fringe entity, that we, the others, shy away from to avoid the taint.

This is a wonderful novel and all people, should read it!

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