Paperback review: Ignorance, By Michèle Roberts
Saturday 20 July 2013
Ignorance tells the story of two French girls whose friendship is interrupted by the Second World War.
Jeanne and Marie-Angèle are educated together in a provincial French convent, but when the Germans arrive they are forced down different paths: bourgeois Marie-Angèle takes up with a louche black marketeer, while Jeanne, from a poorer Jewish family, is forced into prostitution.
Roberts writes beautifully, evoking the irruptions of history in prose of great economy and compression: "War fell out of the sky. Planes nosedived, dropping bombs. The local bakery blew up, rose in the air, collapsed." The narrative alternates between the two protagonists, and the reader anticipates a cathartic reconciliation. It never happens – but that only makes this moving novel seem all the more true.
Listen to his collaboration with Naughty Boymusic
Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Tidal launch: The most pretentious lines from Alicia Keys' valedictory speech
- 2 Britain First 'acting like Ukip henchmen' by invading meeting of activists in revenge for pub protest against Nigel Farage
- 3 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 4 Tidal: Jay Z's Spotify rival streaming service criticised for making wealthy artists even richer
- 5 Brixton squat flats now costing up to £3k per month show how out of control rent is in London
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers