4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Julia, as told by Julia,
This review is from: The Unknown Bridesmaid (Hardcover)
This is, I believe, the latest of Margaret Forsters' books, and is up to scratch with everything else I have ever read of hers. The author has an uncanny knack of taking what seem to be the most ordinary of circumstances and the most ordinary of people, and turning their story into a narrative which has the reader scrabbling to turn the pages and scan the words faster. You are, despite yourself, drawn boots and all into a Margaret Forster book, and find yourself living the life of at least one of the characters in the book.
In this book, as in many of Margaret Forsters', there is one strong protagonist from whose perspective much of the story is seen. Julia, at eight years of age, is asked to be bridesmaid for her cousin Iris. Iris' marriage and the aftermath is seen by us through Julia's eyes, and as the years go by, and Julia gets older, we see her life still through her perspective. But cutting back and forth between that section of the narrative, is a Julia some forty years older, who is, as we discover, working with troubled children. These children dip in and out of the narrative as they are seen in her work by Julia, and we never really get any resolution on their situations, but that's exactly how Julia's life seems to go, so again we live the narrative through Julia's perspective.
As the past catches up to the future, the threads of Julia's life become more evident to the reader, and we can see that the story is heading for - a confrontation? A revelation? Well, you have to read the story to find that out. This is a thought-provoking read, one that you find yourself thinking about long after you've turned the last page. Wonderfully engaging, beautifully written, and very thoughtful. Totally recommended.