Literary reviews by Tim Love.
Warning: Rather than reviews, these are often notes in preparation for reviews that were never finished, or pleas for help with understanding pieces. See Litref Reviews - a rationale for details.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

"the blue" by Maggie Gee (Telegram Books, 2006)

"The Blue" (the first story) wasn't bad. It features a woman beginning to lose it and goes magical at the end - common traits in these stories, which also contain lots of piercing (light, etc) and widows. I liked "What was important" best. "Into the Blue" was interesting. The rest didn't do much for me - little hi-res detail (psychological or otherwise) and the language edged towards Harlequin at times - "imagined faces, the sweetness of names, doodled pet names for those faint dream-children. Well, in the end, they never came, and five years later, George had gone. Half a lifetime of loving plans; somehow it left her here with nothing. What could she do with the life that remained? Every day she woke slowed and deadened, clinging to her thin wedding ring for comfort" (p.86)

This is a little better - "But life had started again, once she hadn't a bed to sleep in. At first it had just seemed chilly and lonely, but then she began to feel free. Her memories talked in the darkness. Lost loves swam towards focus. They went on forever, the trail of spilled beads, or balloons, perhaps, for their softness ... the faces, wavering - now clear, now muddy - then suddenly smiling and firm in the sunlight" (p.102). The start of "Into the Blue" is more exciting - "In, in, out of the noise and glare! That white cold light of London, which I have only known since passing over. Now flitting through the world like a shadowless sparrow, I see them all, I know them all, these many lands I never saw nor painted" (p.131)

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