The answer to this week’s WWW is Kate Grenville, award-winning author of such masterpieces as The Secret River (2005) and Lillian’s Story (1985).

Were they still laughing at some silly women’s joke? Or was it possible – was it conceivable? – that they were at this moment winking at each other, and laughing not at some frilly little schoolgirl joke, but at me, the man, the one who did not know things that they knew…Pride forbade me to turn around and squint into the light, but the air in front of my face grew dark and the muscles of my face froze.  I closed the door on them with loathing: a loathing born of despair.

This passage comes from Grenville’s Dark Places which was published in 1994.

The narrator, Albion Gidley Singer, is both repulsive and sympathetic.  He is indeed a man of many layers of dark and darker places…certainly there is not much that is light within him.  But he is a creature of his milieu, initially adopting the traits that one of his ‘station’ perhaps ought to have had but eventually taking them beyond the norm.

It is – by turns – a laugh out loud story and a disturbing and shocking study of one man’s psyche.  I loved every word of it.


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