There is something rather emotional about Marika Cobbold novels. I say this having only read two and they have both effected me in very different ways.
Frozen Music could be described as a novel with a very bleak landscape, a grey world which is never coloured and never will be by the characters and the path they choose. It is also an emotionally wrought book, which deals with the effect of motherly love and love as an adult.
There are two main characters in this novel. Esther and Linus not known to each other as children, but their respective mother and step mothers are friends, and they know of each others existence, as the process of motherly pride is always something which is caught up on when friends get together.
They have very different childhoods and, Esther has a mother and a father who show not much love towards her, and as an adult she struggles to deal with the lack of affection and love in relationships. She believes for every one of her actions there is a ripple effect and that anything she chooses to do will have ramifications; smelling gas at her neighbour’s house, and not reporting it, ends in a rather tragic event which Cobbold adds humour to for the sake of Esther’s character but for me was a great example of Esther struggle to deal with any of her actions. “It’s like any action has to be put before a judge and jury residing permanently inside my head, examined and argued over until no reasonable doubt remains”. Esther needs to learn that life is a bit of a muddle. It made me think about the actions I take and how much thought I give to them and trying to empathise with Esther as she tries to come to terms with all her actions.
Linus on the other hand, loses his mother at a young age, and not much is really said about her. It is all kind of hushed up and talked about in whispers. He has little love from his father and it always seems that the ghost of his mother is around him, in either physical form or emotionally. His future is in the known, the structure he can create in architecture, and his sole focus leads to a rather different future and he takes the examples of his parents love and sadly fails at his own adult love.
Linus and Esther meet, when a building which Linus designs, threatens a brother and sister’s only known home. All of a sudden this story which has been a rather separate affair, starts to cross lines and become intertwined. Everything comes together. Can two very different people come together? Or will their past forever hold them back from the future?
Marika Cobbold’s novels are not so easy to review, they have many facets to them and this probably does not do justice to the novel at all. I feel that from the two books that I have read they are emotional reads and that they will affect you in very differing ways. Frozen Music for me was a book which showed how mothers can control your future with you probably not even realising it or them aware they are doing it. Frozen in time, emotions need to be released and the setting of the atmospheric Swedish island, exposed everything and allowed emotions to surface and finally be dealt with. It was a thought-provoking read.
Have you read any Marika Cobbold? Any recommendations? I look forward to reading more.