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THE GIRL IN A SWING
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The book's descriptions of china collection are, by themselves, vivid and interesting. I credit the book with igniting my passion for American Brilliant crystal and antiques in general.
I've reread the book many many times since the first time and I'm glad that it has finally come out as a Kindle book. Now all that is needed is an audio version. Don't bother yourself with the lousy movie starring a stuffed-nose poorly performing Meg Tilly; it's a major letdown. Allow yourself to be carried away by the lyrical, haunting prose of a master writer.
Adams is a subtle writer, so he won't spell it out for you. Basically, Kathe is a manifestation of the goddess Aphrodite, complete with all the beauty and callousness that implies. Many, many readers missed this, largely because the latin & greek references are not part of our popular consciousness anymore. Very interesting & very well done.
Last nitpicking item I have is with several reviewers who kept referring to one of the two central characters as "Karin". Did they read the book, really, or just see the Meg Tilly movie? The narrator's wife was named "KATHE", *not* Karin!!
The book tells the story of Allen , from childhood until he meets Karin.Then it becomes the story of Allen and Karin.It's quite a story.We know from moment one that Karin is too good to be true.To his credit,so does Allen.She is too beautiful , too nice , charming and cultured.What the hell does she see in Allen who is kind of boring,not much to look at and not rich.You 'd assume Karin would be looking for Donald Trump.Karin is very mysterious, to the point of creepiness and perhaps craziness.I assumed the central mystery of the novel was , what is Karin? A lot of hints are dropped about this but Adams doesn't seem to want to flesh this out.instead a rather obvious ghost story is dropped in .Yet to give the book it's due,is it really a ghost story?My guess is it's not.It's ambiguous.I'm pretty sure Karin is crazy and Allen is pretty strange in reality.As a child he showed signs of having ESP.Is the weirdness here some strange interaction between Karin's madness and Allen's ESP? Maybe but Adams isn't telling.I think he overdoes the ambiguity and vagueness to the point that you're occasionally forced to say , what is this ?
Overall this novel is a solid performance.I found it very absorbing until about mid point when my questions and doubts began to take over.What's odd about the book is , you know Adams is up to something but I was never quite sure what it was? There is a lot of Christian and classical subtext that I expected to see developed more clearly.I t never is and that was disappointing. Much as you may enjoy the book(I did) ,I can't imagine that anyone except perhaps the author.really knows what it's about.