The Sunday Salon

I thought I wouldn’t manage to write a Sunday Salon post today but find I do have a little time just to write a short post. Yesterday I finished reading Old School by Tobias Wolff, one of the best books I’ve read recently. I’ll write a post about it later in the week.

I’ve not done much reading today, but I did manage to start reading The Gravedigger’s Daughter, by Joyce Carol Oates. a massive 581 pages that will see me busy for several days – if not weeks. So far I’ve met Rebecca, haunted by her dead father. She hated him  and could see no resemblance to either her mother or her father. She is alone in the world, apart from her three year old son, Niley, as she doesn’t where her husband is or if indeed he will return.

The story starts as Rebecca Tignor (formerly Schwart) is walking home from work along a canal towpath followed by a mysterious stranger – a odd looking man in a panama hat. Quickly she experiences a quivering malevolence and trying to escape him in her panic she falls. He approaches and asks if she is Hazel Jones.  After her denial she eventually goes on her way home. I have many questions – it appears that Schwart was not her real name anyway – so who is she, why did she hate her father, the gravedigger, why is her husband absent and who is the man in the panama hat?

7 thoughts on “The Sunday Salon

  1. I bought Gravedigger’s Daughter when it came out last year, but still haven’t gotten around to reading it. It does sound good, though. I’ll be interested to hear what you think of it after you’ve finished. I may have to put aside a few challenge books and read it next.


  2. I’ve recently read a few of JCO’s short stories–very creepy. I’m working on Beasts by her now, though I am not too far. Her work can be very unsettling, so I will be curious to see what you make of this one!


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