The Ladies of Grace Adieu by Susanna Clarke has been on my to-read list for quite some time, basically since I discovered it was out, I suppose. I did rather love Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, and was eager for more. From that point of view, The ladies of Grace Adieu was a little disappointing.
My first objection is hardly Clarke’s fault: I really do not like short stories. As usual, just as I was getting really interested in a story, it was over. I like a book I can really get my teeth into and which takes days, even weeks to finish unless you are in the happy position of being able to drop everything else for 10 hours upwards. So though the stories were good, they were too short.
Other than that, well, I guess I’m not so much interested in fairie- lore as just appreciative of “magical” plot devices. Had I been really into fairies and magic in a of its own, I suppose I would have been more interested, but I’m not.
Saying that, the book is still pretty great, just not quite I’d hoped for. Clarke handles language beautifully, changing tone, syntax and spelling to suit the supposed time of the narrative, and held me transfixed for minutes (until I got to the end of the story and had to start again with a different set of characters).
Ok, so I really don’t like short stories. Why do I keep reading them, I wonder?