Writing with the telegraphic swiftness and microscopic sensitivity that have made her one of our most distinguished journalists, Joan Didion creates a shimmering novel of innocence and evil.
A Book of Common Prayer is the story of two American women in the derelict Central American nation of Boca Grande. Grace Strasser-Mendana controls much of the country's wealth and knows virtually all of its secrets; Charlotte Douglas knows far too little. "Immaculate of history, innocent of politics," she has come to Boca Grande vaguely and vainly hoping to be reunited with her fugitive daughter. As imagined by Didion, her fate is at once utterly particular and fearfully emblematic of an age of conscienceless authority and unfathomable violence.
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WRONG VOICE FOR A GREAT NOVEL
Couldn't Audiobooks have put just a little effort in finding the right voice for Joan Didion's difficult novel? Grace Strasser-Mendana (nee Tabor) is the narrator, a sixty-year-old ex-anthropologist and disillusioned biochemist, who heads the wealthiest and most powerful political family in the fictitious country of Boca Grande. The woman on this Audiobook doesn't even try to give us an authentic impression of who is telling the story. She sounds mechanical, flat, and sterile. Didion's book deserves a lot better than that. A lot better.