Thursday, June 18, 2009
SERVANTS' QUARTERS by Lynn Freed
This book sounded like it would have something interesting to offer about the blurring of class lines in the romantic realm. It didn't.
THE SERVANTS' QUARTERS chronicles a young girl's relationship with her wealthy neighbor over a span of 20 years in post-WWII South Africa. Cressida's family's fortunes take a turn for the worse after the war and Cressida catches the eye of her wealthy and disfigured neighbor who becomes her mentor. Their relationship developes and evolves over twenty years as Cressida's family goes through its own transformations. This book reminds me in many ways of Marguerite Duras' THE LOVER. You have a young girl being encouraged by her family to enter into a relationship that society doesn't approve of. However, Freed doesn't really develop the story well and the reader is left with little to no empathy for the characters.
BOTTOM LINE: Not recommended. Even though this book is barely more than a novella, I found it very difficult to get through. I didn't care about any of the characters and had a hard time understanding the author's motivation.