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Sweet Caress
William Boyd's Sweet Caress captures an entire lifetime unforgettably...
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Does Sweet Caress tell the story of the twentieth century?

Created: 05/30/16

Replies: 7

Posted May. 30, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1335

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Does Sweet Caress tell the story of the twentieth century?

Does Sweet Caress tell the story of the twentieth century?


Posted Jun. 09, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ruthiea

Join Date: 02/03/14

Posts: 86

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RE: Does Sweet Caress tell the story of the twentieth century?

Including so many historical events, and making Armory a photographer who finds herself in the midst of them allows the novel to tell SOME of the story of the 20th century. It is by no means the full story - no civil rights movement, not much of the bombing of London, etc, but it manages to perhaps spark interest in readers who may be unfamiliar with some of the events Armory did cover. It is a decent overview, but the world is too big and too many important for one person, even a photographer to cover it all.


Posted Jun. 12, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
reene

Join Date: 02/18/15

Posts: 212

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RE: Does Sweet Caress tell the story of the twentieth century?

The story is definitely character driven. It tells the story of a female photographer living in the 20th century. I don't believe it tells the story of the 20th century. So much happened during that time period, but the story focuses mainly on the wars.


Posted Jun. 13, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joanew

Join Date: 12/27/13

Posts: 5

RE: Does Sweet Caress tell the story of the twentieth century?

There is a lot to be said about the 20th century but this book does not really talk about a lot of the events that occurred during that time. The book might have held my interest more if the photographer had been involved in more of the historical events of the time.


Posted Jun. 20, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
louisee

Join Date: 06/29/15

Posts: 67

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RE: Does Sweet Caress tell the story of the twentieth century?

No, Sweet Caress only tells a few stories of the 20th century and those were mainly the wars as mentioned by reene. It might have told the story of a female photographer's life in the 20th century but I don't know any to compare to it.


Posted Jun. 23, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
KateB

Join Date: 02/11/16

Posts: 53

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RE: Does Sweet Caress tell the story of the twentieth century?

Perhaps telling 'the story of the twentieth century' is too sweeping a term, but I did think the book marked some significant changes through the century in an interesting way.

Amory's choices and upbringing, for example, contrast very much with her daughters' lives.

I thought Boyd's decision to focus not just on WW1&2 but also Vietnam was also interesting. We saw 3 generations of men brutally affected by those wars in the characters of her father, her husband and the young man she meets in Vietnam.

Her journey through the decades ends on a remote Scottish island and I found it very moving that someone who had seen so much would ultimately want to live in such an isolated and quiet way.


Posted Jun. 24, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
paml

Join Date: 10/25/12

Posts: 66

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RE: Does Sweet Caress tell the story of the twentieth century?

Sweet Caress tells moments of history of the twentieth century, just like the photographs.


Posted Jun. 27, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
alissac

Join Date: 05/14/15

Posts: 34

RE: Does Sweet Caress tell the story of the twentieth century?

In broad terms, I could see this novel being one that's of the 20th century- it details the rapidly changing world and times that defined those yrs. For instance, the dramatically changing roles available to women were highlighted, as well as the socially acceptability of the homosexual lifestyle. War was definitely a large part of the early 20th century, detailed in this novel- the war moments were interesting bc the author focused on so many different aspects of "war," not only the politics and combat, but going further into the lasting effects of trauma on individuals and families. This could also been seen as a 20th century idea bc it's hardly the thing you'd find in earlier novels; people in the 20th century were becoming more able and comfortable talking about and recognizing mental health issues, rather than ignoring or hiding them.


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