Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Changing Heaven - Jane Urquhart

The Basics: Changing Heaven, Jane Urquhart, 1990, 258 pages, hard cover

How I found it: I really can't remember where I heard about this book. I thought I had read (and loved) all of Urquhart's novels, but then realized I hadn't read this one and had to read it right away.

What's it about?: There are two parallel storylines: a conversation between the ghost of Emily Bronte and the ghost of a female balloonist, and a love story about a woman writing a book about Bronte's Wuthering Heights and her art historian lover. There is lots of angst and emotion all around.

Did I like it?: Having been forced to read Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre in highschool (and hating the way it portrayed women) I swore off the Bronte sisters forever and haven't read Wuthering Heights. Therefore I didn't really relate to the storyline involving the ghost of Emily Bronte as much as I could have. I did find the book to be a pleasant literary read despite that since the love story was quite powerful and the characters were quite interesting. The way the two storylines wove together was interesting as it unfolded and the characters began to parallel each other more and more.

Will you like it?: You need to appreciate literature to like this book and I suppose it would help if you have read Wuthering Heights. If you're a fan of Urquhart this book won't disappoint because as usual she writes her characters and landscapes astonishingly well. This book is more about character development than plot, but the characters are fascinating.

But don't take my word for it: A collection of editorial reviews from Amazon.ca and favourable reader reviews are all I could find for this novel since it was published pre-internet.

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