Sweet Caress by William Boyd

by Sue Davy

  • Posted on February 14, 2017

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This is a fictional autobiography of a woman written by a man and for these reasons alone I found it challenging and quirky. It is illustrated throughout by grainy ‘repurposed’ photos, which the author uses to convincingly represent the fictional characters who walk through the pages of the story. I did at times struggle with the fiction/non fiction aspect of this book and did check a couple of times to reassure myself the book was fiction. When Amory Clay was born in the decade before the Great War her disappointed father gave her an androgynous name and announced the birth of a son in the newspaper. Amory was a photojournalist and photographer, which enabled her to move through and live in many places including London, New York, Paris, California, Germany and Vietnam. She was there at significant times in history and experienced the decadence of the Weiner Republic, the violence of London’s black shirt riots. She moved into the Rhineland with allied troops and then she even managed war torn Vietnam. Through the book the reader also follows her relationships with different men including a spell as a lady of the manor in Scotland. William Boyd manages to entertain the reader with great detail of all these experiences and bring them to vivid life – an astonishing achievement and imagination. Scores: 1 – 0. 2 – 0. 3 – 0. 4 – 0. 5 – 0. 6 – 0. 7 – 0, 8 – 7. 9 – 0, 10 – 0

About the Author

Sue Davy

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