book reviews , different studio guests each week. Join us every Thursday between 12 and 1pm on Radio Scilly 107.9fm or log on to

Missed any programmes? See below for list of guests, books and other details discussed.

Monday, 7 September 2015

Lena Kennedy - Owen Oliver

review written and read live on the bookshow by Maggie Perkovic
This is an odd one. My friend who gave it to me said"I was not to sure of this, see what
you think" and I feel the same puzzlement as she did. Set in nineteenth century London it
tells of a young man, bored and fed up with his life who walks out of his dingy apartment
and joins up with Tom a young man who works in London but actually lives in Kent and
together they travel the miles to Tom's mother's cottage where she makes him welcome
and as he has no relations, being an orphan he never returns to his home and job in London.
Tom is a good friend and finds him work as an accountant with an elderly man who learns
to trust him and when he dies leaves the business to him. The description of the streets of
London and also the country markets where children are hired and made to work long
hours and are abused in all sorts of ways seem  a copy of Charles Dickens' works.
Owen in particular is shocked by the children's suffering and takes one pretty girl under
his protection but although his intentions are honourable he goes to way of all flesh
and begins an illicit relationship with her when she is only fourteen, which is where I
completely lost sympathy with him I must admit. Owen is also a brilliant sketch artist
and again this reminds me of Dickens he joins with a writer to illustrate his books,
which is reminiscent of Boz and Charles Dickens. The story proceeds with Owen
being coerced into marriage with  suitable lady which causes suffering to many besides
himself. The story drags on with various elements being brought in like the Music Hall,
Variety and other aspects of Victorian life.The characters are very mixed but at no
time could I feel anything but distatste for Owen Oliver.
Not a good read I think. Maggie Perkovic.

No comments: