The Poacher's Son

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Rachel Anderson
Barn Owl Books
1904442714
Sept 2006
Growing up in the early years of the twentieth century, Arthur witnesses the disintegration of his family as a series of unfortunate incidents forces them from marginal respectability towards abject poverty.

Thankfully, the hand-to-mouth living described in The Poacher�s Son will be utterly remote from most modern readers� personal experience. Arthur becomes increasingly alienated by the rigid social and moral structures of the time, failing at school (his sister thrives there, but her prospects are absolutely defined and limited by her background). Instead, he is utterly absorbed by the natural world; it is this solitude that allows Arthur to become completely himself. It is a shock when the narrative lurches into the First World War and towards its bleak conclusion. Anderson allows Arthur as the narrator to seem much more eloquent than the younger self he describes; this imbues him with dignity, but it also has a distancing effect on the reader. A subtle, sombre book.



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This page contains a single entry by Mai Lin Li published on January 11, 2007 4:38 PM.

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