Review: Elspeth Sandys’ “A Passing Guest”
So this was a random opshop purchase that looked like a good counterweight to my Spanish co-reading. Narrator Renate, clearly repeating some events in Sandys’ own life, has returned to NZ after 15 years in the UK, only to be abandoned by hot-shot wanker barrister Greg. Renate had loved and lost before G, an almost unbelievable hero-doctor called Cecil. Now, back in somewhere-or-other NZ, she’s accepted a brief from the Society of Authors to be a writing mentor to Maori prisoner Max Nene, whose unexpected death provides the pretext for the novel. Really, the heroine is too wet and naïve to carry this narrative of love and abandonment, although maybe it was the wrong time for this reviewer to digest this book. Regardless, I was never quite convinced by this story, and will be consigning it to my equivalent of oblivion.
Where it came from: Opshop
Time and manner of reading: A few kaleidoscopic reads, then a sit-down-hoe-in
Where it went: Opshop
Reminds me of/that: —
Who I’d recommend it to: —
Also reading: The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon; Being Alive edited by Neil Astley; The Politics of Ecstasy by Timothy Leary; Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier; La muerte de Artemio Cruz de Carlos Fuentes