Tuesday, November 14, 2017
The Dark Flood Rises
I have come to love Margaret Drabble's novels; previously I've blogged about The Millstone, The Witch of Exmoor, and others, and Linda wrote an earlier review of this title. In Drabble's novels, very little happens, but in recounting her characters inner thoughts, it seems as though the world is explained, somehow; it all makes sense.
Here we have Fran Stubbs, an energetic 70-something who drives all over England examining care homes for the elderly and helping them optimize conditions for their residents. As she drives back and forth to her meetings in a perilously rainy English February, her son is in the Canary Islands visiting friends who are also grappling with end-of-life issues. While Lanzarote, Canary Islands, sounds nearly like paradise, its residents still grow old, fall, have strokes, and die. Meanwhile, Fran has a friend dying of cancer in London, and another embarking on new scholarly adventures in a deluxe assisted-living facility in Cambridge. Sounds depressing, but for a glass-half-empty person like me, it was just brilliant.