Sunday, 19 August 2012

A Review of 'Rook' by Jane Rusbridge

Sometimes I write book reviews as a project, sometimes I read books because they are my book club selection, sometimes I just have to put pen to page. When a book moves you it is exhilarating. Being a very visual person the cover of this book had appeal, so I ordered it out of curiosity . It is a love story, a history lesson and a music recital all in one. I am sure it is so much more. But for me this was a personal book. A book that I loved, a book that excited me on so many levels that I decided that a traditional review was not necessary, this was going to be a personal review.

Dark, broody and atmospheric, this book takes me on a journey, or rather many journeys. Family dynamics, as the reader explores Nora's life with her mother Ada and her sister Flick, or her other personality Felicity and Nora's father or father figure. It is a study in isolation, out of time and place, mixed with elements of nature, water, air and trees.

The journey of historical research, back to 1066 , a very English landscape intertwined with current love interest from Nora's home county and  from  the media world and historical flashbacks.

A musical soundtrack with staccato and vibrato as the storyline is so expressive and well modulated , mixed with a central character Isaac who like Nora's father conducts the story-line in his absence but with a powerful presence.

Then there is Rook and Cello both central with no dialogue but a directorial  and endearing presence that resonances throughout the book.

This book has inspired me to return to my history books, to find out more about the Bayeux tapestry. To jump on a train and visit Hasting Castle for a 1066 moment, to sit in the garden and read to bird song. To watch birds as they fly above me and caw . This book has altered my observations.
It has inspired me to listen to the Cello again and revisit Dvorak Cello Concerto and thumb this book for other Cello pieces.

What will this book do for you?  It offers a rich journey if you are interested.

'Rook' by Jane Rusbridge Published by  Bloomsbury Publishing

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