Melissa's Reviews > The Seven Sisters

The Seven Sisters by Margaret Drabble
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's review
Nov 20, 14

it was ok
bookshelves: ladies-writin
Read from November 25 to 30, 2011

** spoiler alert ** Oh how I wanted to like this more than I did. It begins as the diary of an older woman named Candida, who's just gotten a divorce and is living alone, estranged from her children. She makes all sorts of lovely honest statements that are full of self-pity and hyper-awareness; about the girl at her Health Club who may or may not have cancer, "I can't ask after her, because I don't know her name . . . And anyway, I don't care. I'm curious, but curiosity has nothing to do with caring." She comes in to some unexpected money and decides to round up a few of her other older women friends to take a trip. She decides to leave her diary behind.

At this point, Part Two, the tense changes from first person to some sort of odd third person present tense. Okay. It's jarring at first, but I got used to it. I ultimately assumed that it was Margaret Drabble writing this part as the Narrator. But then Part Two ends and Part Three is written from the first person perspective of Candida's daughter Ellen. Ellen is pretty annoying. Candida has supposedly drowned herself and Ellen is mad at how she's portrayed in her mother's diary. In Part Four, it turns out that the whole book is still Candida's dairy, that she faked her death and the stuff written by her daughter. Then she swoops in and out of first person and third person, and although I pressed on, the tense changes were too much for me. I could've read her original diary for days and days, though. I'm willing to keep on with Margaret Drabble because her writing is pretty exquisite. This is just way too gimmicky.
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