Monday, 14 September 2015

The Hearts and Minds of Men by Fay Weldon

Fay Weldon is my all time favourite contemporary writer. She has been writing novels, short stories, screenplays and more for 5 decades and has been awarded a CBE in the Queen's Honours and Fellowship of the Royal Society of Literature. What I love about Ms. Weldon's books is the characterisation, which is often in the form of an omniscient and dispassionate view (albeit from a feminist perspective) of the motives behind the way that  her characters act and drive forward the plot. Fay Weldon has an educational grounding in psychology, which is evident in this aspect of her writing. Added to this, Miss Weldon is incredibly imaginative.

At the moment I am re-reading The Hearts and Minds of Men, first published in 1987. Ms. Weldon uses an interesting literary technique in this narrative: she writes from a third person omniscient point of view, with the author frequently directly addressing the reader - which creates a chatty conversational impression. A tug of love child is snatched by her father and put on a plane bound for Switzerland. The plane explodes mid air with the loss of all lives except that of the child, Nell, and her escort - who float to earth unharmed, still strapped into their seats, and land in thick mud on a French beach. What happens next? You will need to read the book to find out.

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