Friday, July 18, 2014

The Ladies of Grace Adieu by Susanna Clarke

I finally sat down with Clarke's second, the Ladies of Grace Adieu. I'm fairly certain I waited as long as I did because I was afraid I'd be disappointed. Because Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell is one of my favorites.

And I kind of was and kind of was not.  The short story collection definitely did not blow me away. But it was also really well done, really well written, well imagined. Each of the stories advances the world Clarke's created, or a version of the world. It feels almost like anecdotes that you might have heard told by characters from Jonathan Strange's world... fables, tales, stories.

The writing is, of course, immaculate. The story-telling is good.. great, even. The collection read quickly, and each story felt complete in its own right. I'm not sure what more I wanted, but it seems that I did want something more. When I was done, I felt it was sort of anti-climactic.

So, I would definitely recommend to Clarke fans and people who would be Clarke fans (but who just haven't had the good sense to read her yet ;)), but with the note that it is good, really good, great, but not as satisfying and fulfilling as Strange & Norrell...

Overall, FOUR of five stars.

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