Writing I aspire to..
I read lots in dual narrative, as this is the style I'm writing in and it's helpful to explore other writer's work. I've just completed Susan Allott's The Silence. Susan is a debut author and I really hope she's near completing her second book because her writing is exquisite! I'm aware it's personal choice as to how flowery we like the text, but I was taught the clearer and simpler the better. I have found this is the style I prefer. Herewith my Good Reads and Amazon review:
My favourite book style is dual narrative, preferably with different time spans. The Silence starts in 1997 in a flat in London. Isla answers the call from her father , Joe, phoning from Sydney, Australia. 30 years ago, in the summer of 1967, the Green's neighbour Mandy disappears. Joe is under suspicion of her murder. This book sheds light on The Great Australian Silence: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children removed from their homes and rehoused. The story keeps the reader guessing and the ending is superb. Although this book covers an emotive subject that I wasn't aware of, it is the actual writing style I found so satisfying. Take for instance the opening scene: 'In a basement flat in Hackney, the telephone rings. It's two in the morning. Isla Green stands in the hallway, pyjamaed, barely awake...No tide of shame waits for her, no bloom of pain.' You might ask what's so special about that? For me, the simplicity of those sentences transported me to a flat in Hackney! No waffle, no fluff, just clear, simple statements. Allott's descriptions are equally powerful in their simplicity and clarity: ' Isla looks out at the street where she grew up. The houses crouch low under a huge sky, each with a tidy lawn at the front, manicured hedges; wide passages between one building and the next. The small, identical bungalows on the ocean side'. I saw it, I was in the scene, because Allott has used such simple words low, huge, tidy, wide, small. Description can sometimes be exhausting to read, but Allott isn't frightened to use every day words to enable the reader to feel the passage. I am a writer and Allott's style of writing is something I aspire to, to cut all the dross and get to the nub of the story. Her use of closed third point of view, is sublime, with each character's individual voice shining through. I can't believe this is a debut novel. Susan Allott, please keep writing!
Finally, I've attached a glorious book cover!