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The Dark Flood Rises: A Novel (edition 2017)

by Margaret Drabble (Author)

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792152,477 (3.86)8
Member:bonniev
Title:The Dark Flood Rises: A Novel
Authors:Margaret Drabble (Author)
Info:Farrar, Straus and Giroux (2017), Edition: 1St Edition, 336 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:Aging, friendship, relationships, death and dying, England, Canary Islands

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The Dark Flood Rises by Margaret Drabble

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  Dianekeenoy | Mar 14, 2017 |
I seem to have read a few books lately about what constitutes a good death: what a morbid topic for Christmas Day, eh? Alas, Margaret Drabble’s new novel The Dark Flood Rises is due back at the library tomorrow and if I don’t write the review this morning before the frivolity starts, my thoughts will be lost in a haze of champagne bubbles…

So, succinct is the order of the day. The Dark Flood Rises is the ruminations of an assortment of ageing characters, notably 70-something Francesca (Fran) Stubbs, widowed by her second marriage and providing meals-on-wheels to her ex-husband Claude. Through the third person narration we meet a host of characters and memories from her past, and see her preoccupation with death exacerbated by her work as a sort of consultant to the aged-care industry, inspecting their accommodation options and assessing the acceptability of the lifestyle they offer.

More interesting to me were the musings of Ivor, gay companion and helpmeet to Bennett who is a good bit older (and wealthier) than Ivor. It was nice that Drabble avoided the cliché of lover-with-an-eye-on-the-main-chance. Ivor is a thoroughly nice man, and obsessively honest with Bennett’s money, which he manages, as he manages everything else.

To read the rest of my review please visit https://anzlitlovers.com/2016/12/25/the-dark-flood-rises-by-margaret-drabble/ ( )
  anzlitlovers | Dec 24, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374134952, Hardcover)

A magnificently mordant reckoning with mortality by the great British novelist

Francesca Stubbs has a very full life. A highly regarded expert on housing for the elderly who is herself getting on in age, she drives “restlessly round England,” which is “her last love . . . She wants to see it all before she dies.” Amid the professional conferences she attends, she fits in visits to old friends, brings home-cooked dinners to her ex-husband, texts her son, who is grieving over the sudden death of his girlfriend, and drops in on her daughter, a quirky young woman who lives in a floodplain in the West Country. The space between vitality and morality suddenly seems narrow, but Fran “is not ready to settle yet, with a cat upon her knee.” She still prizes her “frisson of autonomy,” her belief in herself as a dynamic individual doing meaningful work in the world.

This dark and glittering novel moves back and forth between an interconnected group of family and friends in England and a seemingly idyllic expat community in the Canary Islands. It is set against a backdrop of rising flood tides in Britain and the seismic fragility of the Canaries, where we also observe the flow of immigrants from an increasingly war-torn Middle East. With Margaret Drabble’s characteristic wit and deceptively simple prose, The Dark Flood Rises enthralls, entertains, and asks existential questions in equal measure. Of course, there is undeniable truth in Francesca’s insight: “Old age, it’s a fucking disaster!”

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 06 Oct 2016 20:59:26 -0400)

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