Saturday, 22 March 2014

Harvest by Jim Crace Book Review

I was invited by Mumsnet to review Jim Crace's Booker Prize shortlisted novel 'Harvest.' I jumped at the chance as I don't read enough and this would encourage me to sit down and do so. It isn't my usual type of book as I normally like a good thriller, crime etc. However I was willing to give it a chance.

The Story

The blurb reads: 'As late summer steals in and the final pearls of barley are gleaned, a village comes under threat. A trio of outsiders - two men and a dangerously magnetic woman - arrives on the woodland borders and puts up a make-shift camp. That same night, the local manor house is set on fire. Over the course of seven days, Walter Thirsk sees his hamlet unmade: the harvest blackened by smoke and fear, the new arrivals cruelly punished, and his neighbours held captive on suspicion of witchcraft. But something even darker is at the heart of his story, and he will be the only man left to tell it...'

The story is told by Walter Thirsk who is a villager but wasn't born in the village unlike some of the others. He seems to still be thought of as a bit of an outsider.

My Review

I was open to reading a different type of book but I really couldn't get to grips with the style it is written in. It is a very descriptive, poetic style of writing and for me I got bored and just thought 'get to the point!'

For example:

"It's not that Mr Quill is a handsome or well-built man, though his seeming wealth and kindness are bound to be attractive. Nor is there any sense that Mr Quill himself is bidding for a bride. It's just that this procedure has tows and currents which would not trouble us if every daughter in the line had yet to grow her breasts. The fathers there are both awkward and seduced themselves."

It is a very challenging read and personally when I read a book it is to relax a bit having either had a hard day at work or having entertained my young daughter all day. The last thing I want to do is have to really concentrate on reading a book. Perhaps a read for someone who is retired and can spend the time reading.

Disclaimer: I was provided with a free copy of ‘Harvest’ by Jim Crace for this review. Please note the opinions are my own.