Adrienne Jones's Reviews > The Whirlpool

The Whirlpool by Jane Urquhart
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's review
Jun 06, 2010

it was ok
bookshelves: 2010, canadian-author, fiction, historical-fiction, on-place
Read in June, 2010

Jane Urquhart has written two of my favorite books (The Underpainter and Away A Novel. Her more recent The Stone Carvers retained some of her splendid sense of place, but it didn't win me over like her earlier books.

When I sought out The Whirlpool, I was unable to find a US edition. That made me uneasy, so I shelved the book for years until a night of insomnia left me roaming the bookshelf for distraction.

The Whirlpool is definitely a first novel. Despite its relatively short length the book seems much longer than its fatter siblings (The Underpainter 368pp., Away 368 pp., The Stone Carvers 400pp.). The ending's eventual arrival came as a relief from tedious detail and an assumption that the readers be deeply invested in the poetry of Robert Browning.

If you're new to Jane Urquhart's writing, please don't judge her solely on this first work. The Underpainter is a much better introduction to her complex and deeply geographic fiction.

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