What a brilliant book! For me it is a true masterpiece. Jane Gardam wrote an incredibly subtle book about the Raj orphan Edward Feathers, a.k.a. Old Filth. The story has interesting locations and people. His father was a district head in Malaysia and had baby Edward raised by the Malay nanny in the next village, as Edward’s mother died when delivering his son. He did not see his son till he sent him off to England. It is implied that the father suffered from post traumatic stress from fighting in WW-I. But, then again, as you progress with the story you learn that Edward was one of the many Raj children who were sent all alone to England at a very early age. High class colonials were of the opinion that their young children could easily be hurt or killed by living in the tropics, so they should be sent off to boarding schools in England for their own good. However, there seemed not to be an awareness at all that what they did to their children only resulted in everlasting trauma’s of the children feeling displaced and unloved.
It is sometimes hard to read about the surpressed feelings of Old Filth. Filth realised that only diligence was expected from him and he delivered. He suceeded at Oxford and even gained a great reputation as a judge in Hong Kong. But friendship and love were harder fields to conquer and he never quite succeeded. The novel is bittersweet and sad to its deepest core, although there is a lot of beautiful irony as well. For me the book was very moving. On to the second Old Filth book!

Reacties op: Brilliant book!

Old filth (01): old filth - Jane Gardam
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