[[ Read ]] ➳ The Great Level Author Stella Tillyard – Landyshi.info

The Great Level Beautifully written Historical facts mixed with a personal story which I enjoyed very much The main characters are not worked out in depth The author observes them throughout their lives and relates the observations to the reader It s a fairytale style of writing, but well done, I felt I was there. There are two problems with this book one and its pace and two the ending Mostly told from the point of view of the engineer Jan Brunt, the story creeps along at a frustrating pace until the second voice of Eliza is introduced She is brave, intelligent and curious and ultimately she turns a punishment into an opportunity.I can t help but feel that if Eliza s point of view and indeed her story was introduced a little earlier that this story would have been rounded and engaging For too long she is just a cardboard cut out character, we know too little of her history and her motivations The people of the fens Now this should have been a book I enjoyed.It has chapters set in my place of birth Kings Lynn and many others set at the very foundation of the City I visit monthly New York as it transitions from New Amsterdam Golden HillThe Kings Lynn and Ely part is around the draining of the Fens a landscape which has inspired great writing such as Fen by Daisy Johnson, Waterland by Graham Swift and Paul Kingsnorth s The Wake The New York part similar in many ways to the setting of Francis Spufford s exuberant debut novel Further the book is by a respected historian and set in one of the most fascinating periods of English and early Colonial history the revolution and restoration Its main narrator is an engineer just like the wonderful Dublin Literary and Goldsmith winning Solar Bones by Mike McCormack.Returning to this book The main character and main first party narrator of the book is a Dutchman Jan Brunt who, with his engineering knowledge developed in the dams and polders of Holland, accepts a position in 1649 as one of the lead engineers on the p Stella Tillyard s The Great Level is an absolute stunner It s everything that I want in an historical novel a completely immersive reading experience, feeling submerged in a previously unknown historical epoch and previously unknown historical locales After Mike McCormack s Solar Bones, whoever would have thought that another novel about a civil engineer could be so fully absorbing, especially one located in seventeenth century England and Manhattan Tillyard recounts the struggles of Dutch civil engineers, supported by wealthy gentry, prisoners, and soldiers, struggle to reclaim arable land from the fenlands surrounding the Isle of Ely Tillyard invents fully believable characters and especially Jan Brunt and Eliza who involve us in their lives.Jan s voice is especially convincing and powerful Here he speaks of his workBut my pleasure, when I talk of my work, has a darkening edge It has come to me that for one world to be made, another must die Now, as my vision begins to come into being, I am filled with sadness as well as joy I have seen that this unimproved world has its own way of being which will will be lost It has, even, its own splendorAnd here Jan speaks of memory I would totally recommend this book The context of fenland Britain alternating with New Amsterdam in the seventeenth century was totally absorbing a kind of Graham Swift s Waterland meets Francis Spufford s Golden Hill You learn so much, while also relishing the author s wise comments on human nature, seamlessly interwoven.My one comment might be on the structure, and the late intervention of the female protagonist s point of view I think I might Three and a half stars, in the end, I think, for this book which did provide the most evocative visit to this corner of the UK since Graham Swift s Waterland , but still wasn t quite perfect The narrator, repetitive as he is, unable to convince he s living in the time of Pepys as he is, gives us a way in to an extraordinary undertaking, for he s a Dutch engineer and Cromwell has indirectly employed him to drain the Fens, the Levels of the title between Ely and the North Sea coast But lo and behold, a woman has got in the way The book proves itself woke yeuch about colonial thoughts, and the use of slave labour as Cromwell was wont to use, but with or without the I loved this book, partly because it s evocative of the fen landscape I know so well, partly because it s so well written and its characters so acutely drawn I d have given it 5 stars if it had managed to retain that consistency right to the end, but I d still highly recommend it. I Am An Engineer And A Measured Man Of The World I Prefer To Weigh Everything In The Balance, To Calculate And To Plan Yet My Own Heart Is Going Faster Than I Can Now CountIn 1649, Jan Brunt, A Dutchman, Arrives In England To Work On Draining And Developing The Great Level, An Expanse Of Marsh In The Heart Of The Fen Country It Is Here He Meets Eliza, Whose Love Overturns His Ordered Vision And Whose Act Of Resistance Forces Him To See The World Differently Jan Flees To The New World, Where The Spirit Of Avarice Is Raging And His Skills As An Engineer Are Prized Then One Spring Morning A Boy Delivers A Note That Prompts Him To Remember The Fens, And Confront All That Was Lost There The Great Level Is A Dramatic And Elemental Story About Two People Whose Differences Draw Them Together Then Drive Them Apart Jan And Eliza S Journeys, Like The Century They Inhabit, Are Filled With Conflict, Hard Graft And Adventure And See Them Searching For Their Own Piece Of Solid Ground. The history part is interesting than the story telling. Great Level Great Locations Great Atmosphere Great Restraint Great Read


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