Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Have recently finished Jill Dawson's The Great Lover, a fictionalised story about Rupert Brook's life. Written from the point of view of Nell Golightly and Rupert Brookes , it tells the story of his time at Cambridge and his visit to Tahiti. The story begins with the aged Nell receiving a letter from Tahiti, and remembering her early life as a bee-keeper and maid at the Orchard in Grantchester when Rupert comes to stay, and goes on to describe her relationship with him as it slowly develops. We also learn of Rupert's life and emotional turmoil as he struggles to become a poet and writer. A well-crafted story, it drew me in to its life and the lives of the main characters. Nell's family background in the fens is well-described, and the hardships undergone by the younger sister and brothers she leaves behind but still supports are contrasted with the well-ordered life of the inn in which she works in Grantchester.Although Nell has to work hard, nevertheless she has more in the way of comfort than at her old home.Rupert's background as the son of a public school's housemaster's son is also well delineated, and beautifully compared with the life he discovers in Tahiti.

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