After supper, Miss Bates tried a piece of wasabi-flavoured chocolate. The smoky-sweet flavour of the dark chocolate was familiar; the wasabi, not so much. This is also her reaction to Gaffney’s To Love and To Cherish. She can’t really review it per se because she’s not sure what she can say about it other than you might want to read it. She doesn’t even really want to review it.
It’s tedious; it’s interesting. It’s original; it bespeaks so many influences, her mind was reeling. It reflects the influence of 19th and 20th century English writers. It’s George Eliot; no, it’s Thomas Hardy (self-admitted on Gaffney’s part). No, Miss Bates has it now: it’s D. H. Lawrence. Uh uh, it’s Graham Greene. It’s first person point of view; it’s third person. There’s a journal; there are sermons. It’s epistolary. It’s inspirational romance; it’s blasphemous. She loved it; she hated it. She’s thinks it’s great; she thinks it’s awful. She was bored; she was enthralled. She fell in love with Christy and Anne; she wanted to smack them. It’s ironic; it’s naïve. It’s Catholic; no, it’s Orthodox. No, it’s Protestant. No, it’s agnostic. It reminded her of: Scenes of Clerical Life; Middlemarch; Lady Chatterley’s Lover; The End of the Affair … really? really Miss Bates? Breaking the Waves?
Maybe you’ll read it. Throw some light on it.