This was Doris Lessing's first published novel. It has about it a harshness and brilliance, a richness in presenting complexities of character and situation. It also reveals the cruelty of the apartheid system through the inhumane treatment by the heroine of the laborers on her and her husband's farm. The story is primarily of a frustrated couple who cannot make a real livelihood despite their hard work on their farm. In one year the husband gives in to the wife and plants the money- making crop, tobacco. But this too does not work out as it turns out to be a drought year.
Lessing is particularly powerful in her creating of setting and landscape and how these shape the character's lives. This book comes across as a powerful indictment of Apartheid but even more as a study of very difficult suffering characters.
After all, though I am not impressed by her writing, the book stays in the mind, it makes go back to it and think about the story.
If she aimed to portray inertness, she did it. If she wanted to present a realistic cross-section of Rhodesia's society, she did it. If she wished to introduce atypical characters in a typical setting, intense psycology in tense situations, she did it. But I'm afraid I decided to finish it just because it was written by her. Tedious. No, not tedious, tiresome....Continua
萊辛透過寫作，獲得自由，然而她筆下的女主角，却在婚姻的僵局中無以自拔，一至於死： “long, long ago, she had turned toward another young man, a young man from a farm, when she was in trouble and had not known what to do. It had seemed to her that she would be saved from herself by marrying him. And then she had felt this emptiness when, at last, she had known there was to be no release and that she would live on the farm till she died” (231)....Continua