On reading Sacred Hunger (by Barry Unsworth) (Part 2)

The historical theme of this book was slavery and the ways in which power of the wealthy and privileged is institutionalized in the social fabric of our lives, but it is also very impressive how Unsworth deals with the intrapsychic and the interpersonal aspects of our lives that are pervasive across time and geography. The largest arc of the story focuses on the power of intense emotion felt in one act that propels actions of one of the characters across a lifetime. In this case the emotion was humiliation and I think was very particular to how men relate to each other, though I can think of other seemingly small actions in the lives of women that could have similarly longlasting effects. I don’t want to say more for those who might want to read the book. I mention it here though just to say that part of the joy of reading the book was that it was engaging at many different levels and I am awed by novelists who can do this well. 

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