Book: A Dark-Adapted Eye

Author: Ruth Rendell

Rating: 4.5/5

A Dark-Adapted Eye-Ruth Rendell

The story is about a genteel and respectable family whose members; especially two girls, live through an ordeal of emotions. A murder committed out of jealousy and insecurity rocks the world of two sisters who are extremely fond of each other. The incident, though occurring at the time of the Second World War, causes an irreparable damage to the reputation of the family and continues to haunt its members years after years when finally the niece musters up the courage to recount the lives of her aunts when approached by a book writer.



Social/Historical context:

In this novel, Ruth Rendell elicits the flaws in the family system. Families that often exhibit compassion, love, respect, manners and great virtues can also be dysfunctional to the core. Page by page she uncovers hypocrisy, snobbism, jealousy, insecurity, manipulation and greed existing in the family. It makes you realize that genteelism and social status does not guarantee true happiness and genuine love from others.

Writing Style:

Through the narrator’s (the niece) eyes the readers live through the entire story; therefore, it is all in the First person with a few supporting characters stating themselves as and when asked or remembered by the narrator. It will remind you of an English movie in which you know the incidents and happenings through conversations between the characters, and you feel the emotions through the thoughts and sensitivities of the narrator. Characters are not formally introduced to the reader but are detailed out as the story progresses to the extent that the narrator’s name is disclosed after the first 30 or 35 pages of the book. There’s no family tree drawn as well so readers might find it challenging to remember names and the relation of the family members. Also, the events in the story are not narrated in a chronological order but are disclosed through some random thoughts or actions occurring in the present. Having said all this, I feel that this makes Ruth Rendell unique and original in my eyes. The technique and craft that she uses to write is one of its kinds. She believes in serving a dexterously made platter in small quantities and keeping the reader hungry for more till the very last course. She excels in executing this technique.

My Thoughts:

It is one of those rare mysteries that I would like to reread due to three prime reasons in that order: the writer’s style, the finesse of the plot, and the feasibility aspect keeping in mind that it’s only 300 pages long! The characterization is vivid and above average. I felt the obsession of Vera (the elder sister) and the shrewdness of Eden (the younger one). And yes, you might want to justify the name of the novel after reading it. To this, I suggest think abstract and not about the physical eye.

Book Reviewed by Suchandra Ganguly

Read other reviews of Popular Fiction novels here











Enter Your E-mail Address
Enter Your First Name (optional)
Then

Don't worry — your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you Book Lovers Club News.


Write a book review and get a web page dedicated to yourself! Click Here


Got an opinion on this book?

Did you read this book too? Got an opinion on it? Share it!



Encouragements

Nice site(I like the eating books concept!)
-Maggie Ball


Dear Ashmita,
Allow me to congratulate you on your constant efforts at keeping the love for literature and the love for reading constant -amongst us netizens by regularly posting quizzes and information as this current read on Pulitzer prizes! Excellent!
Warm wishes,
Nita


Thank you Ashmita. And I would like to take this as an opportunity to express my appreciation of the effort that has gone into the making of such a fabulous website.
-Amrita Dutta


I would like to take an opportunity to congratulate you for all your efforts in creating such an insightful and informative Group ( Book Review Circle) It is surely a great platform to gather and learn more about like-minded people.
-Jai Prakash Dangwal


This was really a wonderful piece of information. It was enriching and educating. Thank You.
-Palashpriya


I am amazed at the number of reviews and the wide range of books you have read and written about. Really impressive!
-V.Dhanalakshmi


Without the educative literary information from you I feel spiritually dry. Nice to hear from you.
-Palashpriya Bose Jaiswal


It was interesting to know about the significance and use of diary entries in the world of writing. I read something like this for the first time, so I thank and congratulate you for your choice of topic :-)
Cheers
Suchandra