Light, Descending

Light, Descending

by Octavia Randolph

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Product Details

BN ID: 2940150100572
Publisher: Exemplar Editions
Publication date: 11/28/2014
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 343
File size: 311 KB

About the Author

I write the kind of book I want to read myself. I write about history as a way to better understand my own times. I write about people who are far better, and (I hope) far worse than myself. And beautiful objects inspire me: the hand-carved combs, skilfully wrought swords, and gemmed goblets of the world of The Circle of Ceridwen Saga. Almost everything interests me; I've studied Anglo-Saxon and Norse runes, and learnt to spin with a drop spindle. My path has led to extensive on-site research in England, Denmark, Sweden, Iceland, and Gotland - some of the most wonderful places on Earth. My other works include the novella The Tale of Melkorka, based on a story from the Icelandic Sagas, and Ride:A Novella, a retelling of the story of Lady Godiva, first published in Narrative Magazine. I've been the fortunate recipient of fellowships at the MacDowell Colony, Ledig House International, and Byrdcliffe.
Hearing from readers is a special pleasure and I always answer my letters. So write to me! www.octavia.net is my website.

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Light, Descending 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Let me begin by saying I read Octavia Randolph’s work for her beautiful writing and interesting turn of phrase, as well as her diligent research, but in this case not necessarily for the subject matter. I knew Light, Descending would be beautifully written, but I have to admit I was not looking forward to spending time with John Ruskin. While his work is important his is a difficult story, and I wasn’t sure I would be sympathetic, even though I admire his art criticisms, his strong convictions, and his prescient fears about the world’s aggressive march toward the industrial revolution. I had no reason to fear; Ms. Randolph wrote Ruskin as a sympathetic character, something I was not sure was possible if the story was told factually. Light, Descending is categorized as historical fiction but it is a work of art, literature that reads like a wonderful novel, with a storyline that propelled me along even though I knew what was coming. And the highs and lows of the story were not spoiled for the knowing; I experienced them as if I had no insight into Ruskin’s troubled life.  Randolph immersed me in the 19th century. Her descriptions of historical figures such as JMW Turner, James McNeil Whistler, and Rose LaTouche, of the architecture, as well as her use of the language (and spelling) of the time transported me there. The license she took with her characters innermost thoughts are believable, and her prose always compelling. I was pleased with the list of paintings by chapter at the close of the book; those who need a visual reference can easily find one, and her book club questions are thought provoking as well. I most fervently recommend Light, Descending be added to your must read list.