One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to take a chance on lesser known books and I’m really pleased to report that my first venture into the unknown was a massive success. I decided to read Peripheral Vision after seeing a post on the Fiction Uncovered website in which Amanda Craig highlighted some undervalued authors. She described Patricia Ferguson’s novels as dark and dazzling – exactly the sort of books I love!
I chose to read Peripheral Vision because it is primarily about motherhood. Through the eyes of three different women we see how the relationship between a mother and child can be both powerful and fragile.
The writing is amazingly clear and a high degree of emotional intensity is built up in a very short period of time.
The first few pages read like a piece of quality chick lit, but this book quickly becomes more than that – the writing has a depth of both character and theme. The cover image implies that this is quite a light book, but there are a few disturbing scenes so I don’t advise reading this if you are squeamish!
The book begins as a series of short stories, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that they all linked up in the end. This plot isn’t packed with action, but the power of the relationships was enough to grip me completely.
The theme of vision also runs through the book and I especially loved the details of ophthalmic surgery – I felt as though I was being educated as well as entertained.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in books about motherhood, especially if you appreciate quality writing.
Have you read anything written by Patricia Ferguson?