A.S. Byatt

All posts tagged A.S. Byatt

Possession – A.S. Byatt

Published July 2, 2013 by bibliobeth


What’s it all about?:

Winner of the 1990 Man Booker prize, Possession is an exhilarating novel of wit and romance, at once an intellectual mystery and triumphant love story. It is the tale of a pair of young scholars researching the lives of two Victorian poets. As they uncover their letters, journals, and poems, and track their movements from London to Yorkshire—from spiritualist séances to the fairy-haunted far west of Brittany—what emerges is an extraordinary counterpoint of passions and ideas.

What did I think?:

When I first started reading this novel, I really wasn’t sure but I was told to stick with it and I’m so glad I did, it really sucked me in. It is the tale of Roland and Maud, who study the poets Randolph Ash and Christabel LaMotte respectively(both poets are fictionalised by the author). On finding a forgotten and intriguing letter penned by Ash in a library book, Roland cannot contain his excitement that it could shed new light on the poet and change literary history. Roland meets Maud Bailey, who is actually a descendant of LaMotte, and the two uncover a multitude of love letters between the two poets. It turns out that Ash and LaMotte had a passionate love affair (Ash already having a wife, Ellen), and by re-tracing their steps and reading their letters they discover a beautiful story and hidden secrets.

Warning – if you don’t like poetry you’re probably not going to get on well with this book, there are a lot of verses. I think that was probably what impressed me most about this novel, not only that Byatt imagined these two poets, but that she constructed their poems herself, verses which can only be described as accomplished and magnificent. The way that we learn about the love between Ash and LaMotte is through the same way that Roland and Maud discover it – through reading the letters, biographies, journal entries, fairy tales and deciphering the poems, and is in my opinion, a unique way to tell a story. Not only that, but Byatt writes in a multitude of voices and styles, for the numerous characters present in this book and their differing personalitites. This book was definitely a worthy winner of the Man Booker prize, and I’m still stumped at how the hell she did it.

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):


WWW Wednesday #8

Published June 26, 2013 by bibliobeth

WWW Wednesdays is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Click on the image to get to her blog!

It’s WWW Wednesday time again! Thanks to MizB at Should Be Reading for hosting.

To join in you need to answer 3 questions..

•What are you currently reading?

•What did you recently finish reading?

•What do you think you’ll read next?

Click on the book covers to take you to a link to find out more!

What are you currently reading?


The first in the Inspector McLean series, this crime novel based in Edinburgh is on the Richard and Judy Summer Book Club 2013 list – see my previous post HERE. I’m about 25% through, and liking what I read so far.

What did you recently finish reading?:


I read this book as part of my “Kid-Lit” challenge I am participating in with my sister. Absolutely beautiful story – if you haven’t read it, it gets a big thumbs up from me. Review to be posted very soon!

What do you think you’ll read next?:


This is another one of those novels I have been meaning to read for ages. It won the Man Booker Prize in 1990, and I’m really looking forward to it. Hoping it doesn’t disappoint as I wasn’t a huge fan of her novel The Children’s Book.

What are you reading this Wednesday? Please feel free to leave your link and I’ll visit you and have a nosey at your books. Happy Reading Everyone!