Have you ever wanted to disapper and make a new life for yourself where no one knows your name?
A woman rents a remote farm in rural Wales. She says her name is Emilie. An Emily Dickinson scholar, she has fled Amsterdam, having just confessed to an affair. On the farm she finds ten geese. One by one they disappear. Who is this woman? Will her husband manage to find her? The young man who stays the night: why won’t he leave? And the vanishing geese?
Set against a stark and pristine landscape, and with a seductive blend of solace and menace, this novel of stealth intrigue summons from a woman’s silent longing fugitive moments of profound beauty and compassion.
PARTICULARS OF THE BOOK :
Published by: Penguin Group
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Author: Gerbrand Bakker
Find the book: Barnes & Noble
AUTHOR PROFILE :
Gerbrand Bakker won the 2010 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award for his first novel, The Twin. An avid gardener, he lives in Holland.
TOTALLY UNRELATED POETRY READING FROM EMORY COLLEGE, EXCEPT FOR "WILD GEESE" POEM!!!
YOU'LL SEE WHY IN MY REVIEW....
THE BOOKISH DAME REVIEWS :
Well, "The Emperor's New Clothes" on this one... Very esoteric book. Very highly touted by some high-brow readers and those connected to the academic community I suspect, from the ratings on Barnes & Noble and elsewhere. I think it was carried on a wave of a literary prize for his former book, making some give it high marks in retrospect. However, just because one book won, doesn't mean the next is as wonderful. This book was a sleeper/yawn in my humble opinion compared to the rave reviews it garnered.
I found the pace of the novel boring. The summary is a bit misleading regarding the heavy leaning on Miss Emily Dickinson. She is mentioned several times in the text, but not to the extent one would hope. It's only in passing, and only to describe the female protagonist's past profession. Although occasionally the main character does quote Dickinson as she stumbles through her mundane days, there was not enough "meat" there for me.
This novel is primarily to be one woman's search for her earthly "roots" and the inner passage to know herself, but it's told by a man. And that should be telling in and of itself to feminists in a significant way... The story is sluggish. The work she does is mostly "outward," and strangely enough, the sections on her husband are more emotive. Additionally, I had to wonder, actually, why the title about the geese except for her wandering outside a fence like the geese did.
This is a novel I had trouble with from many perspectives, some of which I've named above. I couldn't finish it, which is rare for me. It was just plodding and foreign in a way that seemed untranslatable from the original Dutch. Perhaps the international difference was straining the content?
I cannot wholeheartedly recommend this one. Although the summary made the book enticing for me, the results were less than satisfactory. Read at your own risk. There were some interesting elements to the book, but not enough to make it buoyant in my mind.
2 stars Deborah/TheBookishDame