BOOK REVIEW / DHL and the woman in love: 'Zennor in Darkness' - by Helen Dunmore: Viking, 14.95
Sunday 14 March 1993
Lawrence was one of the greatest letter writers in the English language, and Helen Dunmore, a young poet with a strong sense of place, has made good use of this mine of material: there is a convincing portrait of Frieda as healthy, lazy, and longing for cakes and whipped cream, and Lawrence, enjoying the smells of turned earth, or eagerly making a tea of eggs and fresh bread for visitors. Their relation to one another is only hinted at. Dunmore has chosen to report rather than present their savage quarrels, Lawrence's wretched sense of failure after the suppression of The Rainbow, and the collapse of his hope for communal living with John Middleton Murry and Katherine Mansfield. The novel really belongs to Clare Coyne and her shell-shocked lover John William, who is too obsessed with the friends who have died to escape the horror of the trenches. The best scenes in the book are those in which Clare recalls childish sexual play on the beach, or follows her lover off into the moonlight to make love for the first time at the edge of a cliff.
Zennor In Darkness is a first novel, and far from flawless; Helen Dunmore moves too readily from one person's consciousness to another, and at first the present tense seems awkward, even pretentious. Nevertheless, we believe in Clare's foxy-faced intelligence, talent and passion, and it is something of a triumph that the dense pleasures of landscape and texture never overpower our involvement in her story.
Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'music
Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Scottish referendum: So how about the English now being given a chance to split from England?
- 2 Stamford Hill council removes 'unacceptable' posters telling women which side of the road to walk down
- 3 Kim Kardashian 'naked pictures' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence 'The Fappening' scandal
- 4 Matthew Miller: American sentenced to hard labour in North Korea 'wanted to be Snowden II'
- 5 Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
Jennifer Lopez and Iggy Azalea's 'Booty' music video is just a load of butts
Friends 20th anniversary: Alison Jackson photographs reunited cast
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written
Friends 20th anniversary: The highs and lows of the cast's careers since TV series ended in 2004
Friends 20th anniversary: Six things we wouldn't have without influential comedy series
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'