reading notes: marion bridge and outlander

4 04 2009

I’ve taken to reading plays recently.  Partly because I’ve always loved reading plays.  I took as many drama courses as were offered by the many English departments I’ve been through and since leaving school I’ve missed that type of reading.  It’s also to do with my “training” (I’m not sure what other word to use) for my current writing projects.  In many of the writing about writing books I’ve read, they recommend turning to the masters, so I’m trying to same strategy now that I’ve moved to plays.   Luckily for me our local library has quite a large collection of plays – I guess that must be expected since I’m in a theatre town – and I’m working my way through the Canadian playwrights to start with.

I’m making my way (slowly) through all three volumes of Peter Hinton’s The Swanne, and in between I read Daniel MacIvor’s brillant Marion Bridge.  I haven’t seen any of his plays staged lived, though I did attend a reading of his play His Greatness about a year and a half ago.  Marion Bridge is a beautiful and personal story and it revealed a lot to me about crafting the relationships between sisters.

I also read Gil Adamson’s The Outlander. I’d heard a lot about it and it was one of the books selected for Canada Reads this year.  The novel follows Mary Boulton, a young widow in the 1900s who has just killed her husband and who has gone into the wilderness to try and out run her two brothers-in-law.  I had to read it quicky as I only had a seven day loan from the library.  I’m not sure if the quick reading hindered or helped the book for me.  I enjoyed the first part of the book immensely and the immediacy that Adamson captured in Mary’s flight, and she made the brothers-in-law were suitably menacing throughout.  What I found was that I had difficult suspending my disbelief about a third to halfway into the book.  I was reminded of a season of 24 I watched where they put Jack Bauer’s daughter through one crisis after another and the dangers began to seem to forced.  I did enjoy the book more once the widow settled in the town of Frank and felt there were some interesting interactions with the characters there.

Next up:  I’m not really sure.  I’m going to continue with The Swanne and probably try and get through another couple of plays.  In terms of a novel, I’m not really sure what I’m in the mood for.  I might have to lay out the TBR pile and play a game of enie meanie minie mo.

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2 responses

4 04 2009
Sandra

I enjoyed The Outlander. I appreciate hearing your thoughts on it.

4 04 2009
sparrow52

I did enjoy some parts of it, but I supposed I’d heard too much of hype and was expecting more. That happens so often to me now…

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