Margaret's Reviews > Possession

Possession by A.S. Byatt
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Possession is a many-layered story, cutting back and forth between the past and the present, of two modern scholars who find a set of lost letters between two Victorian poets and go on a quest to discover the truth of their affair. I love its richness of voice: the modern-day narrative focusing on the two scholars, Roland and Maud; the poetry and letters of the poets; diaries, biographies, letters, journals of many other characters. On my latest readthrough, I found myself thinking a lot about the levels of meaning of the title, of how many things "possession" can mean; Roland and Maud are possessed by Ash and LaMotte and their search for them, while themselves seeking to possess their secrets; each pair of lovers negotiates their terms of possession of each other; and there's a very pragmatic question of who is the true possessor of the letters. It's a marvelous mix of academia, mystery, romance, and fantasy, written in lovely, rich prose.
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