Monday, 18 January 2010
The land of green ginger (Holtby)
I treated myself to The land of green ginger during the holidays as I had enjoyed other books by Holtby, and thought that I would enjoy this. Set in North Riding, the landscapes and descriptions of the surroundings were very similar to other Holtby books, as was the recurring theme of socialism - it is interesting to see how Holtby uses her novel writing as a vehicle for promoting her views.
It tells the story of Joanna Burton, who as a child dreamed of living in the far off lands of Africa. When she meets Teddy, who claims that he has "been given the world as a golden ball to wear on a chain", she decides to marry him as he seems to offer the best chance of achieving a life of adventure. Unfortunately things do not work out like that and Joanna ends up as mother and farmer's wife in North Riding leading an impoverished existence that is about as far from her dreams as possible. Teddy suffers from TB and is not an easy husband. The whole book is a journey with Joanna as we wonder whether she will ever get to escape the English fog for the African sun.