Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Mr. Chartwell: A Book Review

Genre: Dramedy (Drama and Comedy)
Reading Level: 13 and up

Summary: July 1964. Chartwell House, Kent: Winston Churchill wakes at dawn. There’s a dark, mute “presence” in the room that focuses on him with rapt concentration.

It’s Mr. Chartwell.

Soon after, in London, Esther Hammerhans, a librarian at the House of Commons, goes to answer the door to her new lodger. Through the glass she sees a vast silhouette the size of a mattress.

It’s Mr. Chartwell.

Charismatic, dangerously seductive, Mr. Chartwell unites the eminent statesman at the end of his career and the vulnerable young woman. But can they withstand Mr. Chartwell’s strange, powerful charms and his stranglehold on their lives? Can they even explain who or what he is and why he has come to visit?

In this utterly original, moving, funny, and exuberant novel, Rebecca Hunt explores how two unlikely lives collide as Mr. Chartwell’s motives are revealed to be far darker and deeper than they at first seem.

My Review: I had a really interesting time reading this novel. It was, in few words, simply amazing on so many levels. It was a compelling and unique look at depression and it affects on humans. You the reader, get to experience this in a very corporeal way, for depression in this book takes on the form of a disgusting yet disturbingly alluring black dog. He is known as Mr. Chartwell, or less formerly Black Pat. He depresses people, both literally and figuratively, his two victim being the long suffering Winston Churchill and a woman named Esther Hammerhans who has terrible dark feelings brought on by a tragedy she is having trouble dealing with.

The two characters in this story allow us to view many of the different ways people can deal with depression. In Winston there is the man, pulled down by this darkness that has plagued his family for generation, but fighting his hardest to never give into it. Then there is Esther, unsure as to what exactly these new feelings are. Rebecca Hunt detailed and emotional writing allows you to really get into the head of each and every single character not just the main ones, but also their friends and lovers, and even the complex Black Pat, that provides a closeness and attachment I have not had the pleasure of enjoying in a book in quite some time.

Rebecca's writing flows effortlessly from fantastical and witty farce, to a deep, sad, and illuminating commentary that is not to be missed.

Content: Nothing that I can remember :P

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Recommend: To those who enjoy unique and compelling novels that make you think as well as they entertain you.

1 comment:

  1. Oooh. I so think I need to get a copy of this book.


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