Kate Jennings Snake

ISBN 13: 9781863305419

9781863305419: Snake
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Everywhere praised for its mesmerizing intensity and taut, quick-witted prose, Snake tells the story of a mismatched couple -- Irene, ambitious and man-crazy, and her quiet, adoring, responsible husband, Rex -- who tumble into marriage and settle as newlyweds on a remote Australian farm. It is amid this unforgiving landscape that Irene and Rex raise their two children. It is here that, as Rex bears silent witness, Irene tends her garden and wrestles with what seems to be her fate. And it is here that their marriage unravels -- inexorably, bitterly, spectacularly.

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Review:

Snake is the story of a marriage. A bad marriage, to be exact. The ring is hardly on Irene's finger before she begins to realize she's made a terrible mistake. Over the course of this very slim novel by Australian writer Kate Jennings, Irene's realization hardens into grim conviction. Nevertheless, she and her husband, Rex, remain together, scratching out a living and a life on a remote farm somewhere in postwar Australia. Eventually they have children, Girlie and Boy; Irene gets a job in town writing cheerful farm stories for a local paper; Rex farms and the years go by while this mismatched pair grow farther and farther apart.

There is something almost biblical about Jenning's tale--in the desolate landscape where Rex and Irene's farm is beset by locusts, snakes and other pests, in the Jobian trials they endure and in the inevitability of terrible retribution for the sin of living loveless lives. Yet the book's spare, almost flat narration saves Snake from becoming inflated by the importance of its own themes.

About the Author:

Kate Jennings, who grew up in Australia, has lived since 1979 in New York City. Her writings have appeared in the New York Times Book Review, Self, and other magazines. SNAKE is her first novel and the first of her books to be published in the United States.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9781841152851: Snake

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  1841152854 ISBN 13:  9781841152851
Publisher: Fourth Estate Ltd, 2001
Softcover

9780880015387: Snake

Ecco Pr, 1997
Hardcover

9781841152844: Snake

Fourth..., 2000
Hardcover

9780330364003: Snake

Softcover

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