A. S. Byatt

In 2009 the Man Booker Prize was won by Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall and it was a very good choice. But also on the shortlist for the prize was A.S. Byatt’s The Children’s Book which I have just finished reading. I have been a fan of Byatt since reading her novel Possession which won the 1990 Booker Prize. I think that The Children’s Book is a worthy successor to Possession and in some ways is an even better novel. It is a sprawling family story which does an excellent job of covering the important artistic and historical events in England and on the continent from 1895 to the Great War. Byatt weaves a perfect Victorian story of a writer of children’s stories and the dark secrets which lie just below the placid facade of her life. The story is complex and riveting. For more on Byatt check on the New York Times website.

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