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Sally Vickers used to be a psychoanalyst, and her past profession lends a depth to her characters, and an interesting air to her books.
She usually has interesting references to some cultural aspect as well. In The Other Side of You it was painting. In this book, the references to Greek mythology were interesting because they were symbolic of the situations in the book and of life in general. The story of Theseus and the Minotaur was one example. When Agnés finally confesses what she had done as a young girl, her friend Alain says, “The minotaur is dead!” I thought that was great, but then I love symbolism. Agnés’ secret had been trapped like the evil Minotaur, and now it was released - rendered powerless. Her life had expanded and healed a lot already, but now she was truly free.
I found the writing good, the cultural and psychoanalytic aspects interesting, but overall the story was a bit underwhelming. I enjoyed The Other Side of You much more.
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The story is about the tragic background of the "Cleaner of Chartres." From her start as a foundling to the, finally, normal ending, the book weaves a sad tale of the life of this woman. There were good people watching over her, but there were also many evils done to her. Somehow she endures and becomes a functional, if flawed, adult.
For some reason I had a difficulty with the time changes between the past(s) and present(s) necessary for the story. I would eventually pick up on a time clue and realize that I hadn't made the shift to the current narrative. This hasn't been a problem in other books; perhaps more subtle than I have encountered before.
Finally, a decent read. However, I wouldn't reread or pick another book by this author.
The narration is very good.