If I weren’t reading all of Rachel Cusk‘s books to look at how her writing develops over time, I would not have finished her sixth book, In the Fold, published in 2005. As one reviewer wrote, “too little happened to too many people.” Or another, the book was “so lacking in anything to capture my interest that I couldn’t even finish it.”
There are other opinions: it was long listed for the 2005 Booker Prize.
In the Fold is narrated by a man and full of dialogue. Perhaps an important step in a writer’s development is to try something different. It gives you a reference point: You do that better than this. And then you can go boldly forth.
My favorite thing about the book is the name of the country home where most of the action takes place. It’s called Egypt–no explanation given. My favorite line refers to Egypt: “This is our home. It’s the place that matters, not the people in it.”
Another interesting point: without realizing I had done it, two of the titles of posts on Rachel Cusk involve circles. In this novel, the narrator’s wife says, “He’ll come around.” The narrator then explains that she must be talking about the ‘big wheel,’ a theory whose basis is that “existence is not linear but circular and repetitive.”