The Master – Colm Toibin

I wasn’t too sure I was in the mood for an erudite biography of Henry James, particularly as I’ve never read any of his novels (although I watched the film version of The Portriat of a Lady, I was not inspired to read the novel), but Colm Toibin’s lightly fictionalised account of Henry James’ life during the final years of the 19th century was a joy to read.

This novel brings to life James’ family and friendships, his American upbringing at the time of the Civil War and the ways he used his novels to provide alternate lives for the people he loved, and for his relationships with them. I put down this book with a feeling of immense sadness arising from James’ inability to allow himself to recognise or accept the love he felt for others and they for him. link: The Master – Colm Toibin