MARIGOLD AND ROSE by Louise Glück
Ah, the Nobel curse. Sure, there’s the whole immortality thing (albeit not guaranteed) and, of course, a pretty hefty paycheque, but very few laureates have managed to produce anything of great worth after winning, or at least not for a good few years afterwards. In Marigold and Rose, poet and essayist Louise Glück attempts to dodge the inevitable by surprising us with her first book of (semi-autobiographical) prose fiction. And it almost works!
It’s a peculiar affair, the story of twin girls in their first year of life. The two could not be more different; Marigold the quiet one, lost in her books, and Rose the active, practical one. They come to their ever-expanding world as babies do, with curiosity, frustration and a growing sense of belonging. Entire histories open before them; family, place, those yet to be lived. The prose is simple, verging on infantile, but I suppose that’s the point. Glück does an impressive job of limiting her own powers of observation to mimic those of a baby but the artifice wears thin. Sadly, not even her beautiful, spare sentences, unadorned by “adulthood” as they are, can lift this beyond the level of charming curio.
Marigold and Rose by Louise Glück