Well whaddaya know – one of the epigraphs in de Kretzer’s book is from E.M. Forster’s Howard’s End (which I just barely finished). The epigraph:
“Under cosmopolitanism, if it comes, we shall receive no help from the earth. Trees and meadows and mountains will only be a spectacle…” (and there it ends)
So much for the good parts of this novel. I only read it to be able to write a scathing review. There is no story in this novel – at all – it’s a load of words strung together describing the lives of two different people, usually on two different continents, as they go through their childhoods, adolescence, young adulthood, etc. and end up in other places as tourists or travelers or something. Their lives are tedious to say the least – to me anyway. I could never bring myself to care about either one of them – and that seemed like it should have been important in this book. With Howards End I cared about all the characters in some way – in this book that part falls flat.
There is some kind of theme woven into it about distance and time and importance of observations and memory, (etc.) but I didn’t care enough to bother teasing it out. There were just oo many words involved – seemed to me sometimes that the author was writing to read herself – like talking to hear yourself speak. The adjectives are not cliched but that’s the best that can be said about them because they’re neither appropriate nor witty – they’re not really even interesting. Sometimes it was very nicely written, other times it was just about as interesting as lists of things about these two very different/similar people. I only finished because I bought the darned thing and because it was a group read.