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See Now Then: A Novel Kindle Edition
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|Length: 191 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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Top Customer Reviews
This stunningly beautiful writing took my breath away. I did not know what I was getting into when I began to read this piece. I had read that it was "probably" an auto-biographic lament on the state of Jamaica Kincaid's marriage. The book is not a novel, it is a book length poem...a non linear stream of consciousness exercise that is both totally mesmerizing and exponentially frustrating.
Her writing literally dances off of the pages, enchanting the reader, while at the same time taunting them to dare to "stay with her". I cried along with "Mrs. Sweet"...her pain was palpable and so sad that I had to stop and put the book down several times...and yet, I can't, with a pure and unpretentious intention, totally recommend this book.
Jamaica Kincaid's message is really the one and only "message" that there is. Now is then, and then is now, because we are all only a compilation of all of our thens. So she presents her story without any chronology, because how could it possibly matter. Mrs. Sweet is held captive by the memories of her own mother and her difficult childhood. She is from a culture that could not possibly be more opposite than the one she is attempting to raise her family in. Her obnoxious husband has stopped loving her. She has been hurt as badly as if scalding water had been tossed in her face. Her children are clueless and mean. All great material.Read more ›
This is a wonderful book. Leave the gossip where you found it, because gossip is everywhere, while true literary achievement is rare, rare, rare.
In using lyrical form and myths, this book is rooted in the tides of time. Mrs. Sweet is a woman of the world and of the land and she spreads herself to include her children. At the writing of the book, they are still the stuff of unfinished roots and stalks. The identity of settings is done in classical form, sometimes becoming too precious.
Indeed this book can be precious at numerous points. There are whole pages I loathed, and others I found enchanting. Kincaid has taken great risk in the form of this novel. As in many risks, sometimes this is more successful than other times. Still I think the high points are worth the time in reading this book of departure from this mature writer.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I picked this book up at a book signing by Ms. Kincaid herself. She read an excerpt and I loved the flow as it came from her directly. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Yana R
Slow moving, repetitive, stream-of-consciousness - absolutely boring, and to find out what happened was a tedious undertaking.Published 19 months ago by Anon
Shirley Jackson died August 8, 1965 at her home in North Bennington, Vermont. The well known mystery writer knew the quiet and recluse life of New England. Read morePublished on July 25, 2014 by Vandella's Views
Book club members were split. While a great writer, the plots were often difficult to follow.Published on July 15, 2014 by Amazon Customer
Seriously could not stick with this book. I have not finished two other books in my life and sorry that Kincaid joined that dubious list.Published on July 8, 2014 by JM Barrie
This inventive writing technique of weaving past, present, and future at once intrigued me and kept me reading, but it created a distance so that I never became involved with the... Read morePublished on March 20, 2014 by Patricia K. Abrams
It’s hard for me to describe See Now Then. It’s the non-linear study of the relationship between Mr. and Mrs. Sweet. The prose is wonderfully crafted and poetic. Read morePublished on February 4, 2014 by Rachel McElhany
I listened to this book,and usually I'm able to stay with a book more, if I'm listening. Jamaica Kincaid read it, and she had a very, lilting, pretty voice, but I could not... Read morePublished on November 3, 2013 by C. O'Connell