Read Giants' Bread by Mary Westmacott Free Online
Book Title: Giants' Bread|
The author of the book: Mary Westmacott
Edition: Dell Publishing Company
Date of issue: September 1964
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 724 KB
City - Country: No data
Loaded: 2995 times
Reader ratings: 6.7
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In all honesty, the back of the book is a little misleading:
"Vernon Deyre is a sensitive and brilliant musician, even a genius. But there is a high price to be paid for his talent, especially by his family and the two women in his life. His sheltered childhood in the home he loves has not prepared Vernon for the harsh reality of his adult years, and in order to write the great masterpiece of his life, he has to make a crucial decision with no time left to count the cost..."
Misleading in the way that it doesn't become clear until the very end what sacrifices and crucial decision it's referring to and that those are only a small part of the story. Looking back, I feel the story is far more about Vernon's personal struggle with his talent and life in general. That said, the book is about sacrifice and about knowing yourself. In a sense, it's a journey of discovery undertaken by 5 very different characters who know themselves and each other to varying degrees.
Since the book plays before and during WWI and was written between the two wars, it also offers a great insight in the goings on of that period: opinions on the war, women's suffrage, the change in position between man and woman, modernization and other things. Now, I must admit I haven't read anything else by Agatha Christie (Mary Westmacott's 'real' identity), so I cannot compare. I can only parrot what it says on the back of the book, that this was Christie's first attempt at proving her writing was good enough on it's own merrit and didn't need her well established name as a mystery/crime writer to sell. I'd say she made her point, but I'm not unhappy to know that she went on proving this for several other books. One point I have to make: there's a twist in the plot that heavily hints towards mystery books anyway.
The book's read thread is the life of Vernon, followed from infancy to an unspecified age in adulthood. My best guess is forties. But throughout the 4 books that make up the story, we also follow part of other characters lives and in that way, see Vernon in a different light. The book features lots of unrequited love and relationship mistakes, but manages to steer clear of melodrama or soapy elements while doing so. It explores the influence and relationships with parents, friends, lovers and enemies and the outside influences that shape them. All the while moving steadily towards a conclusion, which keeps you turning the pages.
Westmacott (Christies) style is fluent and engaging, speckled with the occasional dusting of humor or drama to lighten or burden the mood in just the right places. I especially liked her portrayal as Vernon of a child: astute, honest and at times hilarious.
All in all Giant's Bread made for a very enjoyable book. Wonderful bath- or bedtime reading. The theme left me wondering however. How much of this struggle with talent was autobiographical?
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Read information about the authorPseudonym used by Agatha Christie .
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