Tuesday, February 19, 2013
A Possible Life
Faulks has enchanted me in the past. My first Faulks book was Birdsong, a powerful, desperate, moving book about the First World War. Smitten by Faulks' beautiful use of language and engrossing stories, I read The Girl at the Lion d'Or and Charlotte Gray both featuring war and France, and then On Green Dolphin Street, about a duel between love and duty during the Cold War. A Week in December is a contemporary story with a fast-paced plot and a scathing condemnation (and lucid explanation) of the current financial industry and the people who work there (previously reviewed here). You could picture picking up A Week in December in a drug store, if you were the type to buy books there - a total departure from his previous works.
A Possible Life shows the same dazzling range of styles, characters, time periods, and places as his novels. A British agent in France who spends horrific time as a prisoner of war. A man who builds a life for himself after emerging from a grim Victorian workhouse. Women scientists who discover the centre of selfhood in the near future. A forlorn servant in early 19th C France. And the rise of an exquisite singer in the 1970s. Beautifully done. I really must read all the rest of Faulks' books.