Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Twyborn Affair by Patrick White

Patrick White has been one of the great discoveries I have made over the last couple of years. I now own copies of all his books, and I am working my way through them. Each book I read increases my admiration for this Nobel-Prize winning author. The Twyborn Affair was no exception. The splendid prose, the fascinating characters drawn with precision and a breathtaking depth, so absorbed my consciousness, I missed clues leading up to the climactic ending that exploded in the early days of the blitz of London.

This novel tells the story of three characters: Eudoxia, married to an elderly Greek aristocrat with delusions of grandeur; Eddie Twyborn, the son of a respected judge in Sydney, who takes a job as a hired hand on a farm in the outback; and Eadith, the mysterious madam of a posh brothel in London of the 1930s.

These three characters spin their lives in various directions, but the stunning conclusion brings them together. Eddie’s mother, Eadie, also plays a role in the ending.

As I have said before, White’s novels are thoroughly enjoyable, but the prose requires close attention and a second read. Once I get through all his novels, I will most definitely start all over again.

If you have never read anything by Patrick White, I urge you to remedy this major gap in your reading experience. Ten stars! No kidding.

--Chiron, 10/16/08

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