Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Felicia's Journey

The group met on the 21st of September to discuss Felicia's Journey by William Trevor. Janet had chosen this book because it is by an excellent writer who provides great attention to detail i.e. Hilditch's small childish hands say a lot about his character.This is a novel of betrayal -Felicia is let down by her family,by her lover and ultimately by Hilditch, whom she initially trusts implicitly. Hilditch lives his life in constant denial -his fantasy life is as real to the reader as his mundane day-to-day existence, which is a life of lost and wasted opportunities. At the end of the book,Felicia achieves a degree of contol over her own life for the first time.
Karen felt that Felicia's father could be kind and caring as well as strict and that he sought only the best for his family.
June found the book creepy and almost unreadable at the start -the unhappy main character seemed one dimentional -but she was pleased that she persevered with it.
Margaret wished that the ending of the book had been more positive, and that Felicia had found a better life than the one she ends up with.
Janet commented that her lack of self esteem made the ending inevitable.
Morag found Hilditch's character fascinating and believable -it made her think of real life characters who were in denial over their actions.
Several of the group commented on the food theme which runs through the book.
Marghie felt this was one of the best books she had read and liked being drawn into the story.
The character of Miss Calligary is essentail to the plot, as she ultimately proves to be Hilditch's undoing,and also provides some much needed humour.
The plot break where the reader is left not knowing Felicia's fate also added to the tension in the story.
Marghie commented on the name Felicia,meaning happiness -were the other characters determined to destroy this?
The group agreed that this was a cleverly written book which had held everyones attention right to the final page.