2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Not for the faint-hearted!,
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This review is from: Union Street (Virago Modern Classics) (Paperback) (Paperback)
I must first state that I didn't enjoy the book at all and yet I give it four stars because it is simply what it deserves.It is, put simply, beautifully written and the author has an uncanny eye for describing minutely and faithfully the every day, humdrum life of her characters. What's more she doesn't go for clichés but for hard-biting reality. Babies, children are suffered in that book, each new pregnancy resented because of the extra work and extra poverty it will occasion already over-stretched families. Men are mostly brutal, drinking themselves silly and beating their wives when they're not raping. And when they're rather different, they are afflicted with incurable diseases and chocking on their own blood. And this is what stopped me enjoying it all! Much too gritty for my liking and very depressing. Other readers found it upbeat in spite of it all but I didn't! And another thing that I found problematic as well is that it isn't a novel but a collection of stories and however well-written they are, they often finished abruptly without any sense of closure. They're like episodes, glimpses of lives but the stories don't make a whole.