Slow burning and hugely atmospheric, Lorna’s
work always simmers below the surface, with an intensity which grows and
engulfs the reader; this thought-provoking composition is no different. With a palpable feeling of menace growing
gradually throughout, there is also an element of mysterious ambiguity, in this
tale of a man with a history of violence struggling to raise his wayward daughter,
whilst protecting her from the dark truth about her mentally ill mother. Be warned, it is as bleak as it sounds, but it
oppresses cerebrally, rather than hitting you with melodrama and shock.
It feels physically heavy reading this book –
in part because much of it is suggestion and implication; it often takes time
to reach its next point, taking the reader through the author’s chosen route of
poignant reflection to get there. Lorna
does this mood well – much better than most authors I’ve come across – but don’t
expect resolution or closure around the next corner, because you won’t find
them. Perhaps for this reason, I was left
feeling a touch unsatisfied by the end – but, of course, it was never going to
be that type of book. It requires
concentration, patience and solitude to get the best from this work, and to
follow much of it, because there is so much in the way of suggestion. You really do need to get yourself on Lorna’s
wavelength; there is a great deal of absent perusing, and to fully appreciate
her melancholy style it is important that you envelop yourself into an
understanding of this musing.
Hinterland is understated, self-consciously
unimportant and pure slice of life; its story and characters are as gritty as
they come. We enter, we observe, then we
leave, and there are no clean edges at any of these stages; like a length
pulled, rather than cut, from a baguette.
And with Lorna that is what you get, as is undoubtedly her trademark,
and her objective – no frills, no dressing, and no superficiality; it is real,
it is dark, and it is rough, but it is very high quality, and unquestionably it
is exactly what Lorna wants to share with you.
A good read – a very good read, in fact – for those to whom superiority
comes first, entertainment second.
In : Book Reviews