The Trilogy of Remembrance: The Fate of Pryde by Mary E Martin
|The Trilogy of Remembrance: The Fate of Pryde by Mary E Martin|
|Category: General Fiction|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: The second book in the Trilogy of Remembrance is a lot more than just 'that difficult middle book' - it works well as a standalone and has a great plot.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 334||Date: November 2011|
|External links: Author's website|
Alexander Wainwright is a little more settled after the upheavals we witnessed in The Drawing Lesson. His latest work, The River of Remembrance, has been critically acclaimed and it has Wainwright's trade-mark magical light but the inclusion of recognisable figures is something of a departure. It's this work which brings Wainwright to the attention of Jonathan Pryde, shipping magnate and legendary patron of the arts. Pryde is determined to buy River at any price and he wants to commission the artist to produce stained glass windows for his house at Vence in the South of France. And he wants to know if Wainwright has visions.
There's something sinister about Pryde and his entourage, particularly the thuggish but educated Fizzy and wherever Wainwright and his friend Peter Cummings (winner of last year's Man Booker prize, but struggling with his current book) go they seem to encounter the Pryde entourage. When Wainwright eventually meets Pryde, he's tempted to look into the stained glass commission despite realising that something is not quite right. Peter meanwhile is having problems with his mother. Initially he was infuriated that she'd been transferred to a secure unit within the nursing home, then astounded when she gave him some information about his father – and finally he was convinced that she was mad.
Don't worry if you haven't read The Drawing Lesson – although you really should – as The Fate of Pryde works perfectly well as a standalone and you'll quickly come up to speed on what went before. Martin is an author completely at ease with her characters and they come off the page effortlessly. Wainwright and Cummings are artists at the peak of their professions, but it's their humanity which shines through. They have their blind spots and their weaknesses – Wainwright will always be a sucker for an elegant female profile and you'd best not mention marriage to Peter Cummings – and somehow you believe in them the more because of that.
But it's the story you'll want to know about because this book is plot-driven. Wainwright is about to find that there's an elegant juxtaposition between the secure floor on which Peter Cummings' mother is held and the care which Jonathan Pryde is selflessly giving at his home in France to famous people who've been under some stress. It's all about visions, you see and the lengths to which Jonathan Pryde will go. There's meticulous research behind this book, but it's lightly worn and you get the sense that the plot has been crafted. Definitely recommended.
I'd like to thank the author for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
If you haven't yet read The Drawing Lesson, now could be a good time to do so? You might also like to read this conversation between Wainwright and Rinaldo].
You can read more book reviews or buy The Trilogy of Remembrance: The Fate of Pryde by Mary E Martin at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Trilogy of Remembrance: The Fate of Pryde by Mary E Martin at Amazon.com.
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