Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Teaser Tuesday: The Children's Book

I'm elbow deep in A.S. Byatt's recent novel. The story begins in the 1890s and surrounds the Wellwoods, their family, and friends. Olive Wellwood is a children's book author whose son finds a runaway named Philip in a museum basement on a trip to the city. Thus, the story is set into motion. Byatt paints a landscape of artists, revolutionaries, and dreamers, their lives intertwining and changing at the turn of the century. Teaser:

The Palace of Electricity was set about with warnings. Grande Danger de Mort. It was death without tooth, claw or crushing. An invisible death, part of an invisible animating force, the new thing in the new century.
page 355

I'm enjoying this novel better than her Possession. Though it can be a bit slow at moments, it is an enjoyable pace. Instead of sprinting toward the next action of the plot, Byatt allows the reader to stroll-- drinking in detail and getting to know the characters' internal life along the way.


  1. I loved The Children's Book! Possession was interesting, however the 50 page poems got annoying after awhile, and I often skimmed them. In The Children's Book I really enjoyed the occasional chapters where Byatt paused to go over what was going on in history at the time, which not only included facts, but gossip as well. I hope you enjoy the novel as much as I did! I wrote my paper on that book for my Byatt independent study. ^_^

  2. Actually you were my inspiration to read it. I'm actually taking a break from it at the moment because I have so much else to do, but I'll let you know when I finish it and we can discuss.