17/5/17

lunabee34: (reading by thelastgoodname)
Babel TowerBabel Tower by A.S. Byatt

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I love this book. I have loved each book in this series more than the previous book. Babel Tower was a quicker read for me than the others, I think because Frederica has a real, tangible problem rather than an existential one (although it is that as well). She's married a man who keeps her shut away in a country house; he won't let her visit her friends or work, and when she finally tries to do both those things, he turns violent. I never realized how difficult it was to obtain a divorce in England as late as the 60s. I just kept being astonished by how Frederica wants what seems absolutely normal to me--to work and be married and have a kid, to be allowed to exercise her intellectual abilities, to have autonomy and agency--but which is so hard won in the the time period in which she lives. Her realization that she loves her child deeply and fiercely while also being limited by him and resentful of the way he causes others to impose their expectations on her rings very, very true to me.

The other main plot point is the publication of a book and its subsequent trial for obscenity. I won't say too much on that because the identity of the author is a bit of a mystery at first, but it's very well done.

Very much looking forward to the final installment in this series.



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