Sunday, August 31, 2008

book review: "Possession" by A.S. Byatt

A.S. Byatt

Roland Michell, a Randolph Henry Ash scholar, stumbles upon drafts of a fervent letter by the 19th century poet to an unknown woman, soon determined to be writer Christabel LaMotte, and embarks on a journey of discovery with LaMotte scholar and relation Maud Bailey.

The reader may find him- or herself intimidated by the seeming verbosity of the novel, as I was when I first attempted to read it, but will soon be caught up in the mystery of the Ash-LaMotte correspondence and the beauty of A.S. Byatt’s words. I am especially impressed with the way she has written in different, distinct voices – Randolph Henry Ash, Christabel LaMotte, Blanche Glover, Ellen Ash, Sabine de Kercoz – in the form of letters and poetry and journals.


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