Saturday, 20 June 2009

Happy as children?

Every time I write anything about Susan Hill I worry that I'm repeating myself. She's just a brilliant writer. Reading her books is like watching an artist create a picture brush stroke by brush stroke, sentence by sentence. She writes with great economy, achieving with ten words what some writers struggle to convey with fifty. The Beacon is about how isolated in themselves people can be, shaped by their memories, perceptions and expectations. Or at least that is how it seemed to me. Susan always leaves room for ambiguity. You are never quite sure who is the villain or the victim or even if it is ever quite that easy to believe things are ever so black and white. This might seem to be a very short novel but even after the last word has been read there is plenty to think about and to wonder about.

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