Nicole Krauss - Great House
More conventional in its prose than priot work but equally rewarding
Like her last novel, The History of Love, Nicole Krauss’ new offering spans time and geography, introducing her readers to a multitude of characters that are inevitably connected to one another by an object: this time, a desk. Great House, though, is more conventional in its prose and, in general, less funny. Moreover, its characters experience crippling emotions conveyed in long and over-elaborate sentences that choke the book’s readability, rather than assisting it.
But there’s a contradictory power at the heart of this novel that inspires you to persist even when its momentum stalls. Pages of seemingly irrelevant storyline suddenly seem worth it for the few crystal clear paragraphs that come at the end. Slowly — sometimes, it feels, very slowly — Krauss unravels her mystery, taking us from New York to London and, finally, to a richly-painted Jerusalem where our patience is rewarded and answers are devastatingly revealed.