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Wednesday, 29 July 2009
The Cloths Of Heaven
By Sue Eckstein
The Cloths Of Heaven is a fantastically well-executed novel. Sue Eckstein has created a mosaic of storylines and characters in which pieces of different hues are cleverly constructed into a whole that sparkles with life and colour.
Carefully placed changes of point of view serve to draw the reader into the novel and forward through the narrative and change of tense is also used to great effect.
A huge cast of characters have all been drawn so vividly and individually that they have a life of their own. Impossible to pick favourites from such a huge and engaging cast, but I suspect the characters of Daniel and Rachel with stay with me for a long time.
The narrative switches backward and forward in time adding an extra dimension to the story and cleverly placed ‘postcards’ with snippets of extra information sit between chapters and give the reader a glance into the future.
The motif of many-coloured cloths, based on a quotation from Yeats, runs through the novel and is accentuated by Sue Eckstein’s beautiful use of colour to bring description alive.
Splashes of exquisite humour are used as a counterpoint to the drama and high emotion. Many of them had me laughing out loud.
Overall, the book is a joy to read. It is intriguing, exciting and just beautifully written.
You can read a sample chapter here.
Reviewed by Helen M Hunt