Friday, 3 October 2014

Martha's Vineyard : Book 3

"The Mud of the Place" by Susanna F. Sturgis
The title comes from this quote by Grace Paley:
"If your feet aren't in the mud of a place, you'd better watch where your mouth is".

Susanna is a writer who lives on Martha's Vineyard.  She has written essays, reviews and poems for gay publications.
There are two gay relationships in this novel.

In the novel, one of the characters is commenting on a new book that has been published, describing it thus: "Nick's book has a moody monochromatic cover".
How's this for a moody, monochromatic cover?

  For the first half of this book, I felt that I was struggling through mud!  There is an overabundance of characters, an overabundance of plot lines, and an overabundance of description.
   I can't begin to describe the plot.  I will just say that it shows how difficult it was for gays and lesbians to keep a job in 1997, especially if that job involved children.
  All through the novel, you are expecting a 'big reveal'.  When it turns out that the protagonist is gay, it seems anticlimatic.  What's the big deal?  I guess that says a lot about how attitudes have changed.
  All in all, it was a sinister look at Martha's Vineyard.
"Most of us crawl around under our own little carapaces, and no one ever bothers to knock on the top.  No one cares what's going on inside.  Go through the motions, meet your obligations; that's all that really matters".
  In the acknowledgements, the author says that Martha's Vineyard is not an easy place to live.  How different from the last book -"Home Bird".

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