So what does all this have to do with each other? You find out that each character is living out their own fantasy, but they soon end up all tangled up with the others. It is so much fun to be taken for the ride and to see what piece is going to fit in where.
This is Spark’s first book, and she bit off a bit more then she could handle….I thought with all the different plot lines…. but she handles it really well. At the end you feel that you’ve had a fun ride and all of the questions have been answered for you. Along with the fact, you get a lot of insight into each character.
I’ve found recently reading the writers of this era; they are really good at describing people and giving you a good explanation of the motives of the characters, without using psycho-babble. For instance Laurence’s Dad finally makes an appearance at the end of the book. He was either on one retreat or another.
…he had been given cause to wonder if he did not make his retreats too frequently. Amazing things occurred at home; extraordinary events which he never heard of till later.
‘Why didn’t you inform me at the time,
‘You were in retreat, Edwin.’
He had misgivings then, about his retreats. He told his spiritual director, ‘I might have done better to spend the time at home. My family have had to cope with difficulties…my son…my brother…my mother-in-law…one of our old servants…I might have done better had I not made so many retreats.’
‘You might have done worse,’ said the shrewd old priest, and sounded as if he meant it. It was a humiliating thought, which in turn was good for the soul.
‘They managed admirably without me,’ Edwin Manders admitted.
Edwin has qualms about being out of things at home, but in the end knows that he can’t really handle it. So he is better off in a retreat hiding from the world. I thought
(Spark, Muriel. The Comforters.