2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
An Astounding Book, Oct. 24 2001
This book is without a doubt the best book I have ever read. It is based in the early 20th century in London and the surrounding counties. It is divided by short passages describing the sun rising and falling, which are described in language which corresponds to the 6 narrator's increasing level of understanding about the world. At the beginning (when the 6 are in nursery school) the language is very symbolic and full of physical observation, which progresses to more socially aware language as their lives and their own understanding of the world increases. The events in the book are never described in a third person style, but are told as interpretations from the character's own viewpoints. The progression in the book is subtle and very moving, and I found at times that reading this book was like reading my own thoughts, so lyrically is the writing. The contrast in style and outlook between the 6 characters is well defined, but keeps the vibrancy of description and lyrical prose style throughout. This book is quite difficult to read, as the language and feelings of the characters can have priority over traditional descriptions of events in the book, but then it is so rewarding to read, that you won't care! I have been looking for a long time for a book that matches this in terms of vision and emotional depth, but have yet to find it either in contemporary or more traditional authors. I have read this book twice, and found it to be a more fulfilling experience the second time around, as my understanding of the world increased, so did my understanding of the character's feeling within the book. In short, a mind-blowing read!