Thursday, May 20, 2021

Seven novels about running away from the past

Ailsa McFarlane was born in 1997 in Seattle, Washington, and grew up in Snowdonia in the United Kingdom. After leaving school, she studied veterinary science before dropping out to travel the United States and Europe by road.

Highway Blue is her first novel.

At Electric Lit McFarlane tagged seven books about misfits trying to escape societal pressure, including:
Therese Desqueyroux by François Mauriac, translated by Raymond N. MacKenzie

At the novel’s opening, Therese Desqueyroux sits in a carriage traveling down a dark road. The carriage is taking her away from a trial, at which she has just been acquitted of the attempted poisoning of her husband. At this point, as she makes her way towards her family estate, Therese is not so much running from a troubled past as moving towards a troubled future—she is going home, to face her husband and young child, and the emotional punishment that she knows is waiting for her there.

Through Therese’s memories, we see her existence leading up to the trial, trapped in a marriage that is not only loveless but also abusive. The people who surround her are obsessed only with maintaining the tight social rigors of the day, unable and unwilling to offer help.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue