I am still listening to the Frederica Potter series of novels, this one is number three. These novels have so much going on – there is stories within stories. There is the plot of the novel and then there is bits of Babel Tower (a novel written by one of the characters) and there is another story written by yet another character. The novels are full of literary, scientific and art references. The characters are articulate.
Here’s the blurb …
Babel Tower follows The Virgin in the Garden and Still Life in tracing Frederica Potter, a lover of books who reflects the author’s life and times. It centers around two lawsuits: in one, Frederica — a young intellectual who has married outside her social set — is challenging her wealthy and violent husband for custody of their child; in the other, an unkempt but charismatic rebel is charged with having written an obscene book, a novel-within-a-novel about a small band of revolutionaries who attempt to set up an ideal community. And in the background, rebellion gains a major toehold in the London of the Sixties, and society will never be the same.
I had forgotten how much I enjoyed reading these novels – I remember waiting impatiently for the final one to be released. They’re interesting; there are a variety of characters of all sorts (weird, clever, violent, angry, kind, mad) and I think it gives the reader an insight into life in the 1960s and 70s as a clever and ambitious woman.
It’s also about language and its slipperiness.