The Standing Pool

The Standing Pool

Book - 2009
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Two Cambridge academics, the historians Nick and Sarah Mallinson, take a sabbatical with their three small and lively girls in a remote Languedoc farmhouse. But the farmhouse contains its own histories, far darker and murkier than the Mallinsons are used to dealing with. As the illusion of Eden retreats, the couple begin to feel the vulnerability of being among strangers.
Publisher: London : Vintage Books, 2009, c2008
ISBN: 9780099503651
Characteristics: 423 p. ; 20 cm


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May 09, 2014

Thorpe's unflattering portraits of the British middle class are very good. The Anglo-American couple who rent the farmhouse are initially the more despicable (he steals Iraqi art), but as the story progresses, the Cambridge academics living in the farmhouse are increasing irritating and ineffectual people. The eruption of violence is not understandable in the context of the novel, and overall the book is too long with a contrived ending.

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