One of the more beautiful descriptions in Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell is that of a particular box, described as being “the colour of heartache.” I have, just this minute, finished the book (well ahead of schedule I might add, what will I do the next three nights?) and as I am prone to do, I find myself thinking and writing with affectations lifted from the book.
It was good, and it was worth it.
It starts off, for the first few hundred pages, a little slow. But it is very immersive, and the characters you meet begin to grow and change in interesting ways. Not that they change, in fact, nobody really changes in the book–I think it is one of the themes–they are just revealed to be other than you thought they were. But as you are incessantly battered by the language and the custom and the manner of these people, you begin to be drawn in by them.
I am partial to historical fiction, and this is a good part that.
I found myself, at the end, skipping portions of paragraphs in a rush to know what happens, and the ending does not disappoint. I do wish to have someone to speak with about it… so if you’ve read it, drop me a line. If you’ve not, but were thinking about it, give it a try, it is surely in Libraries by now. Unless they’ve all been bought up!
I do much like the version I have, all hardcover and black, with the paper edges torn roughly (a deckle-edge, I am told). It has a note on the type in the back, and a table of contents in front, oh, and an embossed raven on the spine. For a book that is, most certainly, about books in no small degree, it is lovely.