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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

September - The Other Side of You by Salley Vickers (Ant)

Back cover:

Ever since he witnessed his brother′s traumatic demise as a small child, psychiatrist Dr David McBride has found death′s hold unshakable, shaping his personality and in many ways dictating his profession. ′There is no cure for being alive.′ he declares.
But then one day a failed suicide, Elizabeth Cruikshank, is admitted to his hospital. Unusually withdrawn, McBride is uncertain of how he can help her. It is only when he recalls a painting by Caravaggio that he notices a significant response that leads to her revealing her story.
Through David′s narration we hear Elizabeth′s voice and learn of her misfortunes - of the man she lost and her shattered trust - and as he narrates, David finds his own life being unusually touched by her story. Her words speak a significant truth and meaning which stir within him and cause an awakening.
Set partly in Rome, The Other Side of You explores the theme of redemption through live and art, which has become a hallmark of Salley Vicker′s acclaimed work. An subtly audacious story with many layers, it traces the boundaries of life and death and the difficult possibilities of repentance.

Our thoughts:
Beautiful, well written, sensitive, ........... We explored the characters, discussed various parts of the novel and looked at pictures of the places and also the paintings mentioned in the book ...... If one were to ask us which of the author's work is our favourite, ........ it is Miss Garnet's Angel, .........but on the whole we enjoyed reading this book.
More thoughts: (Ant)
The Other Side of You is the story of psychologist Dr. David McBride whose early experience with death, has led him to a career in psychiatry. He meets Elizabeth who has attempted suicided. For some reason I thought of the novel “Breath”, death being connected with the loss of breath.
The story shows us how art can make sense of the chaos of life. The passion and suffering, and the encroachment of death on life that are part of the Caravaggio story serves as a back light for Elizabeth and David and allows them to focus on deeper feelings and reflections on loneliness. Davey recognises this loneliness and suffering in his patients, colleagues, close friends, and in his wife. He also comes to understand his own repression and false memories, and how to let go.
The beautiful descriptions of Rome and of art certainly add to the beauty of this novel. The ongoing philosophical and psychological insights are satisfying and thought-provoking.
I loved this book. I loved the audio book too

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