"I haven't felt this way since I read Jane Eyre. Dark, lavish and pulsing with luminous imagery, Pope is a master of Southern gothic. A fever burns through every line of this book, a dark swamp of business, myth and belief, I couldn't put it down. Utterly absorbing." - Angela Readman (author of Something like Breathing)
Nicholas Lezard, writing for The Guardian, described their latest poetry collection, Silage, as ‘literature as salvation’.
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Average rating from 6 members
Florida wasn’t always home to crazy headlines and right wing politicians. Pope takes us back to early 20th century Florida, a land as wild and untamed as any place on earth. A place rife with nature and those doing their best to subjugate it. This story is as unique and unusual as the state of Florida,this is a must read for those of us who love this much maligned state
The Hungry and The Lost was one of those books that drew me in so slowly it was almost like it crept up behind me. About 30% of the way in I was ready to give up, but some of the best Gothic novels are those that reveal themselves piece by piece and it kept giving just enough to get me hooked. The book is set in a Florida swamp in Edwardian times. The swamp once harboured a small but thriving town, with an industry built around the hunting of egrets for their beautiful and decorative feathers. Once the birds are all but hunted to extinction, the townspeople up and leave, with the exception of Joy and her mother Rose. Joy's father, the local reverend, has recently died of consumption and her mother has descended into grief stricken madness. Joy is left to fend for herself and her mother, alone in the swamp. 10 years pass and the Johnson family arrives, sugar cane farmers keen to exploit the swamp, and Joy an innocent in the wild with nobody to protect her or her mother is suddenly in danger as the Johnsons realise they can use Joy's genteel poverty against her. The book references Wuthering Heights throughout, subtly with the obvious love for the wild landscape and its creatures, the swamp here as a substitute for the moors. Less subtly with the swamp graveyard, always prone to releasing its dead, provides the opportunity for a reenactment of "that" infamous scene. I got a feel of the Miss Havisham's about Rose, though Rose does get the opportunity to redeem herself and her daughter. In addition there are some supernatural goings on with a hint that Joy may have received a transformative bite. I really enjoyed this book, the creeping, foetid atmosphere of the swamp, slowly eating away at what's left of the town and the manse felt is if nature was taking its own revenge for the now absent birds. If you ever wondered what the Brontes would have written if they had lived in the Deep South rather than the Yorkshire Moors, then this book might contain the answers you are looking for (even if you didn't know you were looking for them).
I really enjoyed this book and it gave me a well needed lift to my day. The insight and humour spoke volumes about the experiences and challenges that we were guided through as the audience. I am very glad I read this book and would highly recommend..
I enjoyed this story, not something I would normally read. I liked the way the writer played different degrees of self preservation. With the inhabitants of the story. Portrayed how cut throat life, was in previous years, especially for women. They were never respected, just a tool to be used and in a lot of cases abused. A story about some of America's past to be noted.