Born in Zambesia

(I am because you are)

Martha Quest (Children of Violence, #1)Martha Quest by Doris Lessing
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

We are caught in the flow of Martha’s psychological time. Years pass in a treacly flood of hot, irritated afternoons, a single moment of transcendent commune with the universe lasts hours (and takes up several pages), and busy days in the city expand to fill decades with a handful of weeks. I can imagine readers complaining about ‘pace’ since little happens, but the book engages me, Martha’s time is the slow river of story I share gladly with her, and I am happy to swim leisurely in her company

I can also imagine readers complaining that Martha is unlikeable. I cringed at pride wounded so easily it condemns Martha to bouts of even deeper loneliness, and again at her delusion of having finished her rebel self-education. But I cringed because I recognised myself and the teens I know, and…

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