I really don’t like not finishing reading a book once I’ve started, but sometimes I find that’s the only way to move on. Unfortunately Charlotte Ansell’s “Deluge” falls into that category. I’ve been dipping into it for many weeks now and am still only half-way through. It sits on a table by the sofa and simply never demands to be picked up.
It may be more subject than style because in many ways the free verse style is right up my street, and there are some really nice phrases and turns in there; but it seems a little too self-indulgent. It says – not subtly enough for my taste – “here’s my life, and this is me examining it”. I struggle to find insights, lessons, experiences to which I can easily relate, and it feels at times as if you need to know some of the characters in order to decipher any meaning behind the words. Sadly, I’m not sure there is too much ‘universality’ behind them.
But hey, it’s a Poetry Book Society recommendation, so there are sensibilities greater than mine making these kinds of selections, so all I can do is to humbly express my view and withdraw from the field… I’m sure many people will love it.