Book of the Week: Dark Circle by Linda Grant November 27, 2016 – Posted in: Blog, Review – Tags: ,

Book review by Pam, one of our local reviewers:

Book Review of Dark Circle by Linda Grant

The Dark Circle is by British author Linda Grant, who was short listed for the Man Booker prize for her novel “The Clothes on Their Backs”

Dark Circle provides well developed characters, humour and compassion, I enjoyed this book very much.

The title of this book refers to a circle of friends who met in a tuberculosis sanatorium in the countryside in post WW2 England. The characters from different circles of life who would not in normal circumstances have become friends, were bound together by the hardships of their illness, the treatments, and the isolation from their families and friends.

The main characters are Jewish twins Miriam and Lenny. From a working class background, they are very likeable characters treated with lots of humour. They are joined by an American seaman Arthur,  who livens up the daily life in the sanatorium with practical jokes, music and dancing, Miriam falls in love with him.

The patients are being subjected to various experimental treatments. Lenny has a large drain inserted in his chest to collapse his lung with the idea that this will allow it to rest and recuperate. Miriam and another woman Valerie are put on “fresh air” treatment and are confined to beds on an upstairs balcony through all seasons and weather. Valerie then has several ribs removed. The new drug, streptomycin is in the experimental stages and not yet freely available. The twins’ uncle who has some underground friends, obtains doses and Arthur and Lenny treat Miriam whose health is failing. She recovers but is deaf as a consequence.

Arthur leaves the sanatorium before the others, with a promise to come back from the US for Miriam.

You can find Dark Circle  at our store at Books Of Buderim.