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The Towers of Trebizond
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Group Reads > The Towers of Trebizond September Read Spoilers Thread

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Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 1630 comments Mod
For spoilers & final conclusions.


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 1630 comments Mod
Finished a couple of days ago & I loved it. I was going to knock off half a star as I thought the ending was a bit abrupt - but I've changed my mind. 20th century fiction. That was the way they rolled. :D

I put it in a spoiler in the first thread, but I read a GR review that said this was a roman a clef. Definitely a satire. I just found it hysterically funny!


Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 673 comments I loved it too until the ending left a sour taste in my mouth. I accept the roman a clef label, and that being the case, I felt the author bent all her considerable skill and charm toward a mean (in the old sense of small or small-minded) end--deflecting blame for her affair with a married man, something that seems to have been fairly well known.

After all, this wasn't over most of its pages a story about Laurie's affair with Vere. Laurie doesn't even mention him until we are well into the story, and until the end Vere remains a mere shadow, he exists only as narrated by Laurie's experience of him. We get almost none of his direct words. Even Father Chantry-Pigg gets more dialogue.

The concerns about faith also start in the background but they build gradually and become fairly absorbing and interesting, at least to me. But again, at the end they're reduced to the context of Laurie's love and loss, which felt to me like a diminishment. I would have respected the book more as an exploration of faith and doubt, and the self-exculpatory tone of the end tarnished the whole for me.

On a minor note, at the beginning the narrator throws away the remark that Aunt Dot's car had been stolen by some member of the clergy, which was why she rode the camel to Mass. Later, when Laurie returns to Aunt Dot's house, her car is back. I wanted that thread to be played out, and kept waiting for an explanation (which I was anticipating to be very funny).


message 4: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1945 comments Anytime someone ends a novel with an abrupt killing, it feels like the author didn't know how to tie up the tangles and lets death do it neatly instead. I'm not sure I think that was her issue in this one, because it doesn't actually end with the death, but rather goes on with her guilt. Did she kill him off because she wouldn't ever have the will to end the affair, so she lets Providence in the guise of her temper and euphoria pill do it? It does seem a bit spineless.

The only justification for her affair, by the way, was that Vere's wife was boring. As I read it I thought it was a low blow, and it was the one time I found Laurie rather unlikable.

I had forgotten the stolen car; it seems another evidence of her pen just writing and writing and not always remembering what went before. Maybe it was all those pills and potions she had no hesitation in dosing the camel with or taking herself!


Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 673 comments I agree, I was pretty disgusted by the whole "his wife was boring and if I hadn't started an affair with him someone else would have" line.


message 6: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1945 comments Abigail wrote: "I agree, I was pretty disgusted by the whole "his wife was boring and if I hadn't started an affair with him someone else would have" line."

It's almost as though she'd been justifying and thinking about it for so long that when she got the chance to write it down, it just popped out. But I think it should have shocked her, the way nasty things do when we say them - or at least the way they should...


Peggy (dandelion_cottage) | 266 comments I’m very late to the party because I just now finished this book. I just couldn’t warm up to it, and kept letting myself be diverted by other books. I was interested enough to finally finish, and there were some very funny lines, but I didn’t really care for any of the characters, and I didn’t like the ending at all. Maybe it says something that my favorite character was the camel. 😏


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 1630 comments Mod
Peggy wrote: "Maybe it says something that my favorite character was the camel. 😏"

😅 I loved it but...that ending.


message 9: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1945 comments Peggy wrote: "I’m very late to the party because I just now finished this book. I just couldn’t warm up to it, and kept letting myself be diverted by other books. I was interested enough to finally finish, and t..."

I'm rather fond of people who aren't right in the head, myself...


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