Kasa Cotugno's Reviews > Spring: A Novel

Spring by David Szalay
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's review
Nov 06, 11

bookshelves: location-europe-britain-scotland, vine
Read from November 02 to 06, 2011

This is a very sly book. Initially it starts out as a chick lit romance with a incomprehensibly smitten man and a unusually reluctant but permissive woman, but as the story unfolds, their ;motivations prove not so clearcut. Katherine and James meet at a wedding and embark on a frustrating, inconclusive affair. The reasons for attraction are unclear and not fully explained, but each has histories that are explained in retrospect. He is not quite the pushover he seems, and her attraction remains somewhat elusive. Neither is completely sympathetic or likable, but this makes them more interesting to read about as long as the reader doesn't have to look upon them as friends. What I enjoyed most were the ancillary characters, many of which were more interesting than the two at the plot's center. Backgrounds of hangers on, friends and associates make for some compelling narration, and at times the plot would dogleg into uncharted territory. By book's end I was glad I had stayed with it. Szalay has a true talent for dialogue and almost a Proustian sensibility for sensuous detail. Many references are made to the unique light of London, particularly during this rainy spring when the book is set The reader can see, feel and smell the atmosphere.
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