Books

Fine bunch of yarns Premium

16 March 2017 | by Kathy Watson

 

Ashland and Vine
JOHN BURNSIDE

With the very first line, this novel sets up its emotional world with remarkable efficiency. “The day I met Jean Culver was also the day I stopped drinking,” writes the narrator Kate Lambert. We know that Jean is going to be important. We know that Kate has suffered. We can sense that the next 300 or so pages are going to bring us revelations, connections and transformation.

Indeed they do, and not just in the case of Kate Lambert or Jean Culver. By the end of the novel, we have witnessed the ebb and flow, ups and downs and utter strangeness of a large family whose lives and circumstances mirror the changes of American society during the last part of the twentieth century. But let us stay with our two heroines and their unlikely friendship. Kate is an alcoholic still grieving the death of her father. To please her selfish and bullying lover, she agrees to become an interviewer in an oral-history project. The subject is Jean.





Register for free articles a month or subscribe now from £53* for 6 months unlimited access to article content.
Subscribe now and enjoy access to all parts of the tablet website, Including its 175 year archive...
Subscribe


Article List


TABLET WORLD…
Latest Issue
Digital/PDF Version

PDF version (iPad-friendly)

Previous Issues
Latest Tweet
Most Read Articles

Anglican orders not 'invalid' says Cardinal, opening way for revision of current Catholic position 09 May 2017 by Christopher Lamb

Consecration of renegade Anglican bishop not intended to splinter CofE but necessary to preserve its true 'heritage and mission' says breakaway church17 May 2017 by Rose Gamble

Medjugorje report's conclusions could be a 'first' for the church, says Vatican commission member 18 May 2017 by Catholic News Service

Anglican orders not 'invalid' says Cardinal, opening way for revision of current Catholic position 09 May 2017 by Christopher Lamb

Consecration of renegade Anglican bishop not intended to splinter CofE but necessary to preserve its true 'heritage and mission' says breakaway church17 May 2017 by Rose Gamble

Medjugorje report's conclusions could be a 'first' for the church, says Vatican commission member 18 May 2017 by Catholic News Service

Official teaching has changed throughout the whole history of the ChurchPremium18 May 2017 by Sara Maitland

Time to get real: both believers and unbelievers are crucial in winning the battle against 'post truth'Premium18 May 2017 by Matthew d'Ancona

The Tablet Interview - Once a Catholic... screenwriter and renowned TV producer Jimmy Mc­Govern talks to Peter StanfordPremium18 May 2017 by Peter Stanford

Official teaching has changed throughout the whole history of the ChurchPremium18 May 2017 by Sara Maitland

Time to get real: both believers and unbelievers are crucial in winning the battle against 'post truth'Premium18 May 2017 by Matthew d'Ancona

The Tablet Interview - Once a Catholic... screenwriter and renowned TV producer Jimmy Mc­Govern talks to Peter StanfordPremium18 May 2017 by Peter Stanford

Share Us
Tablet Subscription

Manage my subcription here

Manage
Newsletter

Sign up for our newsletter

Sign Up
Top