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Wednesday, 10 August 2011
Flesh And Grass
By Libby Cone
This is a beautiful little gem of a book; an intriguing nugget of a story, skilfully polished into a wonderful jewel. As I read I felt as though I’d been transported into a totally different world – partly because the historical setting was so unusual and partly because of the narrative technique.
Because the narrator, Cornelis, is blind the narrative relies heavily on the descriptive power of the sense of smell. As we get to know Cornelius better throughout the course of the book we get to know what certain scents mean to him and how they can trigger emotions in him more intensely than in other people.
The story is set during the time that the Dutch were setting up colonies in the New World and follows the unrest between Holland and England on the Delaware coast. This is a period of history that I don’t know much about, and haven’t read much about – so for me that added a lot to the interest of the story.
Like Libby Cone’s previous book ‘War On The Margins’ there is a firm base of historical fact to the fiction. She says in the epilogue, “I humbly present this work, ‘Flesh And Grass’, as a work of fiction loosely based on the story of the Plockhoy settlement.”
As such, I found it an informative, different and enjoyable read.
Reviewed by Helen M Hunt
You can find out more about ‘Flesh And Grass’ here. And you can read my review of ‘War On The Margins’ here.