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The Bass Rock

de Evie Wyld

MembrosResenhasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
1328159,145 (3.77)9
"The lives of three women weave together across centuries in the dazzling new book from the Granta Best of Young British Novelist, author of All the Birds, Singing. Surging out of the sea, the Bass Rock has always borne witness to the lives that pass under its shadow on the Scottish mainland. And across the centuries, the fates of three women are inextricably linked to this place and to each other. Sarah, accused of being a witch, is fleeing for her life. Ruth, in the aftermath of the Second World War, is navigating a new marriage and the strange waters of the local community. Six decades later, Viv, still mourning the death of her father, is cataloguing Ruth's belongings in the now-empty house. As each woman's story unfolds, it becomes increasingly clear that their choices are circumscribed, in ways big and small, by the men who seek to control them. But in sisterhood there is also the possibility of survival and a new way of life. Intricately crafted and compulsively readable, The Bass Rock burns bright with love and fury--a devastating indictment of violence against women, and an empowering portrait of their resilience through the ages"--… (mais)
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» Veja também 9 menções

Mostrando 1-5 de 8 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
Upea lukukokemus! Monessa ajassa liikkuva tarina väkivallasta, sukupuolista, rakkaudesta, kuolemasta. Surumielinen ja haikea, mutta varsin vangitseva.

Harmittelin ensin kun vahingossa tämä päätyi käsiini suomeksi, olisin halunnut lukea englanniksi, mutta en sitten jaksanut odottaa ja Aleksi Milonoffin suomennos oli kyllä varsin kelvollinen. ( )
  Iira | Mar 20, 2021 |
Evie Wyld’s The Bass Rock is a powerful indictment of male violence against women, a denouncement of misogyny and male toxicity in all its forms, whether it is the “everyday sexism” women have to put up with on a daily basis or, in its most extreme incarnation, rape and femicide.

The novel’s message is conveyed through three interlocking narratives. In the early 18th Century, Alice, a young woman suspected of being a witch, is on the run from the men who want to kill her. In the years after the Second World War, Ruth marries widower Peter and they move to their house in North Berwick. Ruth struggles to get used to her role of surrogate mother to her stepchildren Michael and Christopher, as Peter becomes increasingly engrossed with work and longish business trips to London. Six decades later, Ruth and Peter’s house is put up for sale – Viviane, mourning the loss of her father, is asked to take care of the property until a buyer is found. The Bass Rock stands as an impassive sentinel, its silent presence providing a link between the fate of the three characters caught in a seemingly inescapable cycle of male violence.

Throughout this novel, I felt myself in the company of a confident writer. The three narratives are related, but very different in style and execution. Alice’s story is recounted in the first person by Joseph, the teenage son of a down-and-out vicar who saves Alice from the clutches of her pursuers. The narrator of the present-day segment is Viv – cynical, sweary and often darkly funny. Ruth’s story is written in the third person, although clearly from the perspective of the protagonist. Wyld keeps tight control over these disparate narratives through the use of a highly formalised, quasi-ritualistic structure. The novel is split in a prologue and seven parts. Each part is made up of five palindromic chapters (helpfully numbered I – II – III – II – I), with the Alice segment at the centre bookended by Ruth’s story and, at the outer ends, Viv’s narrative. Interspersed in the narrative are brief impressionistic vignettes, portraying stomach-churning violence against women.

Traditional writing tips suggest that a story or a novel should immediately provide a clear setting of the narrative, to ensure that readers quickly get their bearings. Wyld’s approach is more challenging. Many details come into focus only after a gradual process of discovery. Slowly, the links between the different narratives become clearer.

There is no denying that The Bass Rock is a strong and assured novel. Until around half-way through I even considered it a clear five-star read, one of my favourite books of the year. Then doubts started to set in. I have three main reservations. The first (which is – admittedly – not entirely the author’s fault) is that the novel has been touted as a Gothic novel. It does, in fact, have some supernatural elements but these are limited to vague “presences” in the house and some “witchy” shenanigans in the Alice and Viviane segments. Ruth’s story also has some tropes of the “sensation novel”, the Gothic’s close cousin – but they are scant basis to consider this a work of Gothic fiction. My second reservation concerns the 18th Century chapters – they start out promisingly, but the setting remains sketchy and vague, and Alice’s character is never really fleshed out.

My third reservation however is more central to the novel’s approach. As The Bass Rock progresses we discover that most of the featured male characters are monsters. Not insensitive, not chauvinistic but actual criminals. Abusers, stalkers, rapists, murderers. The only male characters who are spared the novel’s rage are Christopher and Michael – but that’s because they are, like all the novel’s women, victims of male power games. Of course, I do understand that this is in keeping with the declared feminist stance of the novel. I equally understand that in the face of the male violence which still shamelessly stalks women all around the world, it is ok for a novel to double as an angry, polemical manifesto. But I also tend to believe that readers’ intelligence should not be underestimated and, just as they are able to tease out the intricacies of structure and plot, they can also fathom and embrace a novel’s message without it needing to be driven home with a mallet.

But don’t get me wrong. Despite my reservations, there is much about this novel that I loved. Indeed, I am tempted to eventually revisit it as, with the benefit of hindsight, some of the details in the earlier chapters will likely take on an added significance.

https://endsoftheword.blogspot.com/2020/05/the-bass-rock-by-evie-wyld.html ( )
  JosephCamilleri | Mar 5, 2021 |
The Bass Rock by Evie Wyld takes place over several hundred years. This is the story of three women: Sarah, Ruth and Vivianne. Young Sarah is being persecuted by men who suspect her of being a witch. Many years later, after the end of WWII, Ruth is newly married to a widower, has become the stepmother of two young boys and has relocated with her new family to an unfamiliar part of Great Britain. Sixty years later, upon Ruth’s death, Vivianne has been tasked with sorting through her house in order to put it on the market. All three storylines are linked in several ways but the main similarity is the way women are treated by the men in their lives. Nothing seems to have changed from the era of witchcraft to modern times. The Bass Rock presents the reader with three interesting and well-developed female roles. There is food for thought here. Highly recommended. Thank you to Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group and the author for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  carole888fort | Nov 20, 2020 |
Evie Wyld’s The Bass Rock is a powerful indictment of male violence against women, a denouncement of misogyny and male toxicity in all its forms, whether it is the “everyday sexism” women have to put up with on a daily basis or, in its most extreme incarnation, rape and femicide.

The novel’s message is conveyed through three interlocking narratives. In the early 18th Century, Alice, a young woman suspected of being a witch, is on the run from the men who want to kill her. In the years after the Second World War, Ruth marries widower Peter and they move to their house in North Berwick. Ruth struggles to get used to her role of surrogate mother to her stepchildren Michael and Christopher, as Peter becomes increasingly engrossed with work and longish business trips to London. Six decades later, Ruth and Peter’s house is put up for sale – Viviane, mourning the loss of her father, is asked to take care of the property until a buyer is found. The Bass Rock stands as an impassive sentinel, its silent presence providing a link between the fate of the three characters caught in a seemingly inescapable cycle of male violence.

Throughout this novel, I felt myself in the company of a confident writer. The three narratives are related, but very different in style and execution. Alice’s story is recounted in the first person by Joseph, the teenage son of a down-and-out vicar who saves Alice from the clutches of her pursuers. The narrator of the present-day segment is Viv – cynical, sweary and often darkly funny. Ruth’s story is written in the third person, although clearly from the perspective of the protagonist. Wyld keeps tight control over these disparate narratives through the use of a highly formalised, quasi-ritualistic structure. The novel is split in a prologue and seven parts. Each part is made up of five palindromic chapters (helpfully numbered I – II – III – II – I), with the Alice segment at the centre bookended by Ruth’s story and, at the outer ends, Viv’s narrative. Interspersed in the narrative are brief impressionistic vignettes, portraying stomach-churning violence against women.

Traditional writing tips suggest that a story or a novel should immediately provide a clear setting of the narrative, to ensure that readers quickly get their bearings. Wyld’s approach is more challenging. Many details come into focus only after a gradual process of discovery. Slowly, the links between the different narratives become clearer.

There is no denying that The Bass Rock is a strong and assured novel. Until around half-way through I even considered it a clear five-star read, one of my favourite books of the year. Then doubts started to set in. I have three main reservations. The first (which is – admittedly – not entirely the author’s fault) is that the novel has been touted as a Gothic novel. It does, in fact, have some supernatural elements but these are limited to vague “presences” in the house and some “witchy” shenanigans in the Alice and Viviane segments. Ruth’s story also has some tropes of the “sensation novel”, the Gothic’s close cousin – but they are scant basis to consider this a work of Gothic fiction. My second reservation concerns the 18th Century chapters – they start out promisingly, but the setting remains sketchy and vague, and Alice’s character is never really fleshed out.

My third reservation however is more central to the novel’s approach. As The Bass Rock progresses we discover that most of the featured male characters are monsters. Not insensitive, not chauvinistic but actual criminals. Abusers, stalkers, rapists, murderers. The only male characters who are spared the novel’s rage are Christopher and Michael – but that’s because they are, like all the novel’s women, victims of male power games. Of course, I do understand that this is in keeping with the declared feminist stance of the novel. I equally understand that in the face of the male violence which still shamelessly stalks women all around the world, it is ok for a novel to double as an angry, polemical manifesto. But I also tend to believe that readers’ intelligence should not be underestimated and, just as they are able to tease out the intricacies of structure and plot, they can also fathom and embrace a novel’s message without it needing to be driven home with a mallet.

But don’t get me wrong. Despite my reservations, there is much about this novel that I loved. Indeed, I am tempted to eventually revisit it as, with the benefit of hindsight, some of the details in the earlier chapters will likely take on an added significance.

https://endsoftheword.blogspot.com/2020/05/the-bass-rock-by-evie-wyld.html ( )
  JosephCamilleri | Sep 12, 2020 |
4.5 stars ( )
  snakes6 | Aug 25, 2020 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 8 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
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"The lives of three women weave together across centuries in the dazzling new book from the Granta Best of Young British Novelist, author of All the Birds, Singing. Surging out of the sea, the Bass Rock has always borne witness to the lives that pass under its shadow on the Scottish mainland. And across the centuries, the fates of three women are inextricably linked to this place and to each other. Sarah, accused of being a witch, is fleeing for her life. Ruth, in the aftermath of the Second World War, is navigating a new marriage and the strange waters of the local community. Six decades later, Viv, still mourning the death of her father, is cataloguing Ruth's belongings in the now-empty house. As each woman's story unfolds, it becomes increasingly clear that their choices are circumscribed, in ways big and small, by the men who seek to control them. But in sisterhood there is also the possibility of survival and a new way of life. Intricately crafted and compulsively readable, The Bass Rock burns bright with love and fury--a devastating indictment of violence against women, and an empowering portrait of their resilience through the ages"--

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