Thursday, 26 May 2011
The Crimson Petal and the White
It took me a while to read the 850 page book (good price on the Kindle). What I'd missed in the TV version is that William Rackham genuninely loved his wife - and there was more room for insights into Agnes's character and the upstairs downstairs contrasts of the rich and poor, privileged and deprived/depraved. What seemed much too long were Henry Rackham's religious ravings and, sometimes, Mrs Fox's good deeds. Sugar on the other hand was a fascinating girl - Michael Faber manages write convincingly from the female point of view, not a skill shared by all male writers. I admired his writing style, original and fluent, sometimes speaking to the reader directly.
If you have a broad mind and patience, do read this book but don't give it to your maiden aunt or staid uncle for Christmas.
Here's a review of the TV version and here's another one that expresses some of what I felt.