This novel, "The Beacon" by Susan Hill, was recommended to me for it´s narrative tone. The author´s voice is very clear, very distinctive, and she uses very little dialogue. My friend said reading it is a bit like sitting by a fireplace on a dark evening and listening to someone telling a story, and she is right. It is a kind of ghost story and Hill has written other stories about hauntings. She is the author of "The woman in black" that has run at the Fortune Theatre in London since 1989, and still does, I think. We saw it in 1996 or 97. It was scary.

The style of prose really fits the setting, we are in the north of England, far away from big cities or even smaller cities. Where it´s a 90 mile (English mile, I presume, which is rather densely populated by Swedish Lapland standards, but desolate all the same) drive to find a bookstore. Where people don´t say much. And some of them don´t think much either.
It´s the story of one family, a farm house, and how the siblings grow up and grow apart. Mostly, the story revolves around the eldest daughter, May, who has remained at the house to care for her aging parents. The theme of the story is memories, how we remember things, how our memories change shape and serve us, in different ways. And memories haunt these siblings, are used as weapons between them, and mould their lives in a way I can not expose without ruining the book for anyone who might want to read it.

It´s a rather quick read, only 150 pages. As far as I can tell, it´s not translated into Swedish. I would most warmly recommend this book to anyone who ever thought it would be a good idea to write about their childhoods, or any part of their lives, for whatever reason. Think again.

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