Free_phoenix's Reviews > The Children's Book

The Children's Book by A.S. Byatt
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U_50x66
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Aug 20, 11

Read in August, 2011

This book consumed my attention for a good week, drawing me completely into the complex web of relationships at its core and drawing interesting and believable rationales for what made certain characters tick. The breadth of the novel was ambitious, but it was nonetheless executed marvelous well. It is deep and dark at many points, and may be disturbing or triggering for some, most of them stemming from the disasters often wreaked on personal relationships thanks to the obsessive creative urge, but I think it handled all of the issues it tackled believably and with remarkable tact. My only real criticism of this book would be the distracting, didactic and overlong "historical interludes" where the author spent five or six pages diverging from the narrative to catch the reader up, in detail, with the historical events of the day. While I do think that the way this novel was very consciously embedded in a historical moment was compelling, the same effect could have been achieved much more succinctly than it was.
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