Diana's Reviews > Lark & Termite

Lark & Termite by Jayne Anne Phillips
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Jan 03, 10

Read in January, 2010

I liked the structure of this book, the way the story evolves in successive tellings by Termite's father, Corp. Robert Leavitt, in Korea in 1950, and by young Lark, in 1959, as well as by Lark's aunt, Nonie, Termite himself, and finally Lark and Termite's mother, Lola. It's a complicated family story that Lark only unravels at the end.
But despite the period details, the strongly drawn characters and the evocative atmosphere, the story didn't really get going for me until about two thirds of the way through, when I realized that not only were we going to find out what happens to Lark and Termite, but we were also going to find out what happened in 1950, by which time I couldn't put the book down!
I felt the story could have done with tighter editing, the daily routine of the characters' lives is drawn out just a little too long. Having said which, all the characters are drawn so skillfully, and the care and patience they exhibit with little Termite is very beautiful, as well as the ways that they adapt and cope with what life throws at them.
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