Eleanor, Ruth, Susie Boyd discussed on Backlisted



Self esteem. Self image. Whatever parcels of guilt or inadequacy Ruth may have picked up in her 60 odd years before we meet her, how are those in turn catalyzed by having to deal with her daughter Eleanor and Ellen's decision to have a daughter of her own? I mean, in narrative terms what it means is that Ruth effectively kidnaps Eleanor's daughter for, as she tells herself, her granddaughter's protection, but it's also made clear that. Bringing up the granddaughter becomes an opportunity to try and do things right. That she feels may have gone wrong, even though nothing may have gone wrong in relationship in relation to her daughter. And if I've made that sound a bit Chewy, that's my fault, that's not Suzy boy's fault because it's written with such clarity and with such emotional poise. It's also sort of quietly experimental. The narrative voice switches around in a way which is sort of ambitious and risky. And I just found it, I found it incredibly moving. Not sentimentally so, really deeply moving. I had to keep pausing between the chapters to try and weigh up. What had happened to any one of those four women at any given moment? And I found it profoundly illuminating. So Susie, if you listen to this, thank you very, very much. I feel like I learned so much. Can I just read two paragraphs? The start of chapter two, a particularly like to draw listener's attention to the first sentence of this. I mean, if one would be so happy if one wrote this sentence and Susie Boyd did write it. So here it is. On the morning of the christening, I took the sickert in a Sainsbury's carrier to a man off Bond street. I'm just going to read that again because I like it so much. On the morning of the christening, I took the sickert in a Sainsbury's carrier to a man of Bond street. We stood facing each other while I muttered something formal and incoherent. We were in a darkish Italian cafe three quarters empty. 12 shiny lozenge shaped rosewood effect tables, not much wider than ironing boards and Elvis droning on and on about missed opportunities. I was nervous. I felt shipwrecked almost. Ship wracked. He took the brown paper from the painting, narrowed his mouth, dipped his shoulders. He was organizing himself for disappointment I could see. I stalled it up his little insincere routine. Thought it might come in useful later, the man was wiry, and weak chested, with a stale dickensian pallor. Nicotine stones on all ten of his fingers..

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