Perfect Architect

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Jayne Joso
Alcemi
9780956012524
May 2011
181 pp
Whole book read
Yes
This caught my eye. It has a simple but distinctive red jacket design and I have always been interested in the life of architects.

The start of the novel is told exclusively in an exchange of letters between the recently widowed Gaia (whose husband had been one of the leading architects of his time) and Selene. Initially, Gaia suspects she is writing to a young mistress of her dead husband, and the gradual disabusing of this notion is humorously and very beguilingly handled. Indeed, Selene is a delightfully witty and life-affirming creation.

It is something of a shame that the novel could not have been conceived as a wholly epistolary construction, because when the action moves away from the exchange of letters and the compelling relationship between Gaia and Selene, the novel loses its hold on the reader to the extent that the resulting four-way competition to design the perfect home for Gaia to move into and reconstruct her life in never achieves any traction. Whilst the letters are perfectly pitched, Joso is less assured when it comes to character dialogue. The American architect in particular is an embarrassing pastiche.

Nevertheless, I'm glad it caught my eye.



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This page contains a single entry by achuka published on September 4, 2011 6:09 PM.

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