What’s it about?
Set in the bleak Fen Country of East Anglia, and spanning some 240 years in the lives of its haunted narrator and his ancestors, Waterland is a book that takes in eels and incest, ale-making and madness, the heartless sweep of history and a family romance as tormented as any in Greek tragedy.
This was our book club read for June and one I had never heard of and in all honesty was not overly enthused to read when I picked it up from the library. Pages and pages of small solid black text with no break for speech. I knew it was going to be hard work.
Unfortunately you know a book’s not off to a great start when you’re skipping sentences and paragraphs within the first two chapters and ok, I have to confess I couldn’t finish this book but believe I’ve read enough so that you don’t have too. I even had to consult Wikipedia for a synopis something I’ve never, ever had to do with a book before.
It’s a shame really because there were interesting plotlines in this book that switch between very different periods of time; a murder, a taking of a baby yet these got bogged down by superflous waffle about marshland, water and how silt occurs. It’s almost like the author wanted to write a geographical analysis of the Fens whilst recounting significant historical events.
It says to me if you read this book you’re clever and well-read but not that you’d necessarily enjoy it..so not really my cup of tea at all.