Paperback: Burning Bright, By Tracy Chevalier
Reyhana is a journalist, writer and researcher specialising in issues surrounding Muslim communities, community cohesion, radicalisation and counter-terrorism policy. Reyhana contributes to the Huffington Post UK and hosts a blog on ‘how to successfully combat extremism.’
Sunday 02 March 2008
Tracy Chevalier is best known for Girl with a Pearl Earring, a novel based on the Vermeer painting of the same name. This book adopts a similar approach, intertwining the story of two children forming a friendship in London at the end of the 18th century with the work of their neighbour, the poet William Blake.
Jem Kellaway and his family have recently arrived in the city from Dorset after suffering a terrible loss. His friendship with a streetwise Londoner, Maggie Butterfield, and the way their journey through life influences Blake's work, makes for enjoyable reading – but it's Blake who makes it worth reading. A radical free spirit unappreciated during his lifetime, and whose religious and political beliefs cut him off from polite society, his life is a gift to any novelist.
Readers who enjoy Chevalier's style will find much to admire in her depiction of London in the 1790s, but for all its descriptions of bustle and activity there's something anaemic about the whole project. She doesn't hold back from revealing the city's dark side, but her idea of darkness always seems a little too pale.
Review: A panoramic account of the hacking scandalbooks
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Scientists create transparent mouse complete with see-through organs
- 2 Pope Francis issues top 10 tips for happiness
- 3 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 4 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
- 5 Amazonian Indian tribe filmed making contact with Brazil village in rare video footage
Game of Thrones actress Aimee Richardson begs for 'other princess work' after Myrcella Baratheon part is recast
New Netflix releases: Films and TV shows coming in August 2014
Cultural relations between Sydney and Melbourne soured by row over milk crate art instillation
The Walking Dead season 5 will see deaths of 'favourite characters', suggests Andrew Lincoln
Edinburgh Festival 2014: Israeli show The City pulled after pro-Palestinian protests
Land for gas: Merkel and Putin discussed secret deal could end Ukraine crisis
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us
A new Russian revolution: The cracks are starting to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
- < Previous
- Next >