Map of Glass

Map of GlassDid I like this book? I really am not sure I know how to answer that. I appreciated it as it is well written but did I like it? Did I enjoy it? I’m not really sure. I know I didn’t dislike it.

I’ve had this experience with another of Urquhart’s book – The Stone Carvers. I was unsure whether or not I actually liked it or if I was just drawn into it because of the Vimy connection (it's me and that war thing again). The Stone Carvers also came highly recommended to me by a history professor that I respect. So I plodded on with it. And I still don’t know if I liked it (it was good though...does that mean I liked it?).

The pace of Urquhart’s books is slow. Reading her books is like driving through an endless desert where everything is the same. Then suddenly there’s a tree. Excitement! But all too soon it’s behind you and you are back to the desert. In this book you move through the thoughts in Sylvia’s head. Then she’ll speak with someone and in the middles of the dialogue there will be paragraphs of thought, of memory, of asides. I don’t do well with slow books.

When reading a book such as this I often wonder if I ought to be trying to read them for enjoyment. I don’t think such books are meant to be enjoyed. They are meant to be digested. You should pick at them with a fork and pull them apart. It’s the type of book that I’m wary of recommending to people. It’s hard to deny that Urquhart is a talented writer but I don’t know that it’s enjoyable reading. If I don’t know that I like it I can hardly tell someone else that they will can I? I have this problem with a lot of great female Canadian writers – Urquhart, Munro and to a certain extent Atwood.

It’s a beautiful and touching story. It’s interesting even if it is slow. But if you read and it don’t like it please don’t blame me. I’m busy trying to figure out if I liked it…

PS. Woohoo I finally finished a book!