16 February 2017
Holocaust legacy Premium
A young woman, Sally Brody, goes to visit her younger brother Steven in Brighton, at the start of this first novel by Miranda Gold. He lives in a seedy boarding house where she hopes to stay three days but, in the event, she goes back home to London the following morning. Few of those 24 hours are spent with Steven. All of them are lived with the reader, intensely, inside Sally’s head. What she actually does with the time is of only glancing significance.
Reading Miranda Gold’s often gnomic and parenthetical sentences, James Joyce comes irresistibly to mind, as does Virginia Woolf. Ulysses, after all, covers only a day, as do Woolf’s adventures of Mrs Dalloway. There are many conscious echoes of these two great novels: clocking the regular passing of the hours, for instance; the sad and looming incursion into the narrative of a man burdened with incorrigible mental illness; the recurrence of harmless, tangible objects offering some kind of rootedness – in this case a pair of gloves.
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