Author: Doris Lessing
Price: Rs 638
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
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Anna Wulf, quite a communist maintains four notebooks namely Black,Yellow, Red and Blue...Black book is on her published work her life is Africa, Red book is back in Britain about her communists interests, Yellow is her manuscript of a new novel she is currently working on, Blue is her personal diary where she describes about her friend Molly, her children, family and her personal and household chores...There is a fifth book that she calls the golden notebook were interweaves from all her four notebooks...
The book first published in the year 1962, during the cold war era.. These were the times when the society was a chaos...Her Red book with her communist interest would have been an obvious choice to have been flirted with the revolutionary communists principles....But she puts forth the details of the member's trepidation and disappointment after witnessing the ugly side of the party...Her maternal instinct towards her children which was the crucial part that kept her alive,though it was alarming truth it depicts the crisis of any mid age single woman trying to cope up with no steady relationship and life in itself..The mood shifts are too often that I missed them mostly...I thought her to be daring to discuss about menstruation and orgasm in a period when these things were considered to be a taboo to be in kitty parties let alone in a book...I read in an article that this particular Lessing's work was more of a feminist genre, as I read I understood why ,here goes Anna's thoughts about an Englishman she says that none are real, Those who are real end up to be unfaithful and polygamous, but most men are unsatisfactory-rude to their wives, unable to give pleasure, bullying, selfish, indifferent to their children, eager to marry a younger secretary..But after a point I felt Anna to be irritating reading through her affairs with married men when she clearly knew how it would end up and her mood swing was so often that I ended up sighing....For me it was a let down by a strong character that of Anna still making the same mistake over and over again getting hurt every time...As I started reading the book it picked up pace well but in the middle I lost interest , had to try hard to keep myself reading but then again the reading caught up with the earlier speed and I was glad that I finished reading it...The golden notebook is the "breakdown" of all events from other books.......
To express the inner anger and aggression of Anna so bluntly must have been so unfeminine in those days still she was daring enough to portray her feelings with honesty...Lessing's writing I found it both philosophical yet practical at times...I found her alter ego Ella (one of the character of her novel who is also a writer) very interesting...Anna's life is too messy, too open, irritatingly honest to be loved , yet somehow I liked the freethinker in her .....For me her life in Africa as a writer appealed to me more than her life in Britain as a communist....
50's Europe with all its communism, sex and mental trauma one goes through have all been amazingly woven in her novel and kudos to her for penning an extremely feminine vantage to it..Writing as a book is achievement in itself considering the period when wrote...It is a kind of book I would love to discuss with my friends about Anna and her feelings...This book has made me to add her other work in my reading list...
Second entry for the Jule's new author challenge 2012 so 2 out of 10..