I really loved this book. It was post-apocalyptic, but without an apocalypse. It was just society falling apart totally dramatically and how people were quite unable to come to grips with that. It was interesting to see how people adapted and carried on, how things changed slowly and were accepted as just another part of normal. It felt so painfully real. The book consisted of three intermingled parts, the destruction of society, the growing up of Emily and the world behind the walls. Of the three I thought the growing of Emily was the least interesting. Like the falling apart of society it was told very realisticly, how a 12 year old girl was able to adapt in her new society and spend her teenage years while things fell apart, but I did find at times it got a bit dull, perhaps because it was so ordinary and believable. The fantastical element came with the main characters “trips behind the walls”. As things deteriorated outside she spent more time in a fantasy world that she was able to visit for hours at a time, sometimes there were huge empty rooms, sometimes lots of destruction, and sometimes scenes from Emily’s life. These bits really reminded me a lot of the Yellow Wallpaper. I didn’t think it was obvious how much they should be viewed as mental illness and how much they should be viewed as reality. They made a definite contrast to the realistic portrayal of the world falling apart.
I really enjoyed this book, even more than the other books of hers I read, and I definitely want to read more of Lessing’s fiction now. I’m hoping to find a nice cheap copy of the archives book next....Continua
Do not really know what to say about this book and how to review it. The style is quite interesting but I couldn’t really understand the story. Couldn’t grasp the real from fantasy or whatever the author wanted to transmit to the reader.
It is my first time reading Doris Lessing and this book was described as the quintessence of Doris Lessing. Well before I decide if I like her or not I shall eventually read another book.
I would not recommended as a first try…it reminded me of David Lynch’s films…surreal with no head or tail.