2/4/10

Book Love: Possession by A.S. Byatt


My dear Friend,
I may call you my friend, may I not? For my true thoughts have spent more time in your company than in anyone else's...
***
I know the books I love.  Because they sit on my bookshelf.  I read many books from the library.  Read once.  Enjoyed.  And that is enough.

But a book I love, I must own.  I must keep.  I must re-read.  If I'm sharing books that touched my soul, the first place I look is my bookshelf.

Possession by A.S. Byatt is just such a book. It's a complex tale weaving together past and present, narratives, letters and poetry in what some might call a "literary mystery".

I have tried since to read other A.S. Byatt novels and they didn't overwhelm me the way Possession did (although someday, I'd like to give them another try). I was hopeful when I heard they were making Possession into a film with favorite actors and actresses.  But it didn't capture the magic of the book.

If you have a weakness for costume dramas, Victorian times, English literature, academic pursuits, poets and naturalists, the complex, silky layering of words, the murky mysteries of human souls caught in romance, give this one a try.

p.s. I can't resist sharing some of the characters names: Roland, Maud, Paola, Val, Christabel, Randolph, Ariane, and Leonora.

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