Download Epub Format ↠´ The Maze at Windermere PDF by ☆ Gregory Blake Smith The Maze at Windermere, Gregory Blake Smith s staggeringly brilliant new novel, luxuriates in the demarcations of time It is an extraordinary demonstration of narrative dexterity Moving up and down through the strata of history, Smith captures the ever changing refractions of human desire.
Any summary of this book s complex structure is bound to sound cumbersome, as though too much furniture has been crammed into too small a room But Smith, who teaches at Carleton College, is doing something preternatural here Although the entire novel takes place in the little seaside town of Newport, R.
, it contains five distinct stories spread over three centuries You can expect a little vertigo at first There are many characters at work in these superimposed plots, and the same few acres look 3.
5 This book appealed to me initially because it had excellent cover game It also wrongfully as it turned out suggested a Cloud Atlastype structure with multiple and intersecting stories separated through time.
This is not David Mitchell by any stretch but it is an interesting book in its own way, echoing history back at the reader in surprising ways I don t know if it all worked but the attempt was honourable.
The key character in this book is Newport, Rhode Island We explore it in five distinct time periods during it s humble beginnings as a Quaker outpost and revisit it as a major seaport during the American revolution and then a summer resort and playground for members of the gilded age 400 before bou one of the best books I ve read so far this year I was totally in awe The best a historical fiction can offer Five stories in different flavors about love, lust, desire, etc set in Newport, Rhode Island, a seaside town where many historical mansions are preserved It Covered than three centuries between late 1600s to 2011 Way beyond my ability to review this broad yet tightly weaved together book Instead I recommend the following review by Ron Charles posted in The Washington Post do I say this, but for this book I recommend the print version over audiobook.
On the whole I was so impressed by The Maze at Windermere that I can t help but to forgive the moments where it failed to captivate me Gregory Blake Smith has created something that s an absolute masterclass of storytelling he weaves together seemingly unrelated plotlines all centered in Newport Rhode Island from 2011, 1896, 1863, 1778 and 1692 in ways both subtle and forthright, and the precision with which he manages this is feat is undeniable.
But the stories themselves from each timeline vary in the level of engagement they offer To my surprise, I fell head over heels in love with the 2011 plot, which follows the strange friendship between a nearly retired tennis pro, Sandy, and an heiress with cerebral palsy This unconventional socialite, Alice, has to be one of the most vivid characters I have ever read I couldn t get her out of my head when I was reading this book and I I usually dislike dual time period books because one is always a lot interesting than the other However, in this book the author juggled 5 time periods in a very ambitious and writerly exercise that kept me engaged throughout The story is told in alternating chapters from the points of view of 4 male and 1 female protagonists, each set in Newport, Rhode Island Each protagonist has a very distinctive voice which is fortunate because towards the end of the book the pov begins to change rapidly, from paragraph to paragraph, and that could have been a confusing disaster In 2011, Sandy Alison is a retired tennis player with a bad knee He never managed to shake his reputation for lacking a killer instinct on the court His complicated relationships with 3 women at the elegant old Windermere estate get the better of him In 1896, Franklin Drexel is a hand
The whole book is set in Newport, R.
, and all storylines revolve around questions of love and convention, in many respects playing with Henry James classic Daisy Miller We meet an aging second rate tennis pro who falls for a heiress with cerebral palsy, a secretly gay young man who aims to marry into high society, the actual Henry James who did live in Newport as a young ma I very nearly bailed on this after the first chapter what did I care about a sleazy tennis pro seducing rich women in Newport, R.
I but am glad I persevered, as if this is not my favorite book of the year, it is destined to be in my top five Bold and daring in conception, brilliant and dazzling in execution, Smith s novel is a modern masterpiece I cannot fathom how he was able to so delicately and masterfully echo elements in his five storylines, without them becoming obvious or ham fisted Each of his characters is precisely rendered, even the minor ones, and in Alice du Pont he has created as beguiling and fascinating a creature as her progenitor, Daisy Miller side note this is the first fictional character with cerebral palsy that I can remember maybe Dickens Smike, but that isn t obviously stated I will probably re read t A Richly Layered Novel Of Love, Ambition, And Duplicity, Set Against The Storied Seascape Of Newport, Rhode IslandA Reckless Wager Between A Tennis Pro With A Fading Career And A Drunken Party Guest The Stakes Are An Antique Motorcycle And An Heiress S Diamond Necklace Launches A Narrative Odyssey That Braids Together Three Centuries Of Aspiration And Adversity A Witty And Urbane Bachelor Of The Gilded Age Embarks On A High Risk Scheme To Marry Into A Fortune A Young Writer Soon To Make His Mark Turns Himself To His Craft With Harrowing Social Consequences An Aristocratic British Officer During The American Revolution Carries On A Courtship That Leads To Murder And, In Newport S Earliest Days, A Tragically Orphaned Quaker Girl Imagines A Way Forward For Herself And The Slave Girl She Has InheritedIn The Maze at Windermere Gregory Blake Smith Weaves These Intersecting Worlds Into A Brilliant Tapestry, Charting A Voyage Across The Ages Into The Maze Of The Human Heart Now, this was brilliant Five different story arcs over the course of five centuries in Newport, Rhode Island The stories blend historical fact and fiction, all the while referencing and echoing each other, intersecting, then veering away from each other, just like, wella maze 4.
5 instead of the full five because there were a few characters I would have loved to see of, and a couple of plot threads that were never quite woven into the whole but maybe those were meant to be dead ends in the maze Those are just quibbles though because it was so nearly perfect Certainly broke me out of my recent rut of meh 3 star reads.
An excellent historical novel with 5 storylines across 3 centuries The loose intertwining of the stories gives the book an added depth There s nothing not to like about this novel writing, plot s , characters are all perfectly developed and depicted It was a true pleasure to read.