Saturday, January 7, 2017

Giant's Bread by Mary Westmacott

Giant's Bread
Mary Westmacott
5/5 stars

Giant's Bread was the first novel  (1930) Agatha Christie wrote under her  nom de plume "Mary Westmacott".  It tells the life story of Vernon Deyer as he follows his destiny to become a composer, and the choices he makes along the way.

As is often with Christie's mysteries, Giant's Bread is a story of psychology, of what makes a person "tick", and it is a powerful story.  The phrase "giant's bread" is taken from the fairy tale quote: "fee, fie, fo, fum, I smell the blood of mortal Man.  Be he alive or be he dead, I'll grind his bones to make my bread."  Deyer's composition was entitled "The Giant", and his life was made up of incidences of "grinding the bones" of those whom he loved and who loved him as he made his way toward a life of music.

Her description of a Victorian childhood was reminiscent of her autobiography (my review), and was wonderfully told.  The WWI nurse's story was also an excellent example of the reality of that job.

I found this to be a compelling read, if not a quick one.  The reader knows from the beginning that Deyer will write his masterpiece, but following his path to that point was emotional and intriguing.


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