Boy am I confused about this book. I appreciated reading this work. Poole is a fantastic writer. He can really write an important sounding sentence. Poole fills this text with repetition, symbolism allegory, foreshadowing. At times Poole is really trying to write this novel, forcing images and symbolism that doesn’t seem true to form. At other times, the way he constructed his characters seems as natural as breathing.
I want to read more of Poole, if I can find any of his work. I also would like to read this novel more than once. This would be a perfect novel to teach in a college course. Throughout the novel I found myself saying that there is probably more going on than I am able to comprehend at first glance. I wish I could have slowed down a little and taken my time with some of the portions I had questions about and I may revisit this novel.
One of the most interesting themes running throughout this novel is this surreal positive undertone. So many times things take a fantastic positive turn in this novel, and it is jarring. Poole is extremely supportive of Deborah’s worldview which is pre-communistic if there is such a thing. Setting up a Utopian apolitical, a religious orphanage in the heart of Little Italy in NYC before WWI. It is incredible to think of Poole’s story and how this book basically a forerunner of Communist Party literature winning America’s prize and the first one at that. Poole went to Russia in 1919 to report on the People’s Revolution. With this novel, Poole sort of comes out of the closet with his stance toward communism. Other than these repetitive overtones of the work, there is more going on than just a message art novel. Poole is a master craftsmen and I am glad that I was introduced this his artist heart.
The final thing on this novel is that it is the most original ending we have read so far. It is interesting that it is the first book on this list that has the most interesting ending, so be find the intriguing ending in the beginning for whatever that’s worth. I have never read something so philosophical as the ending of this work. I would be remiss to give anything away about this ending, it isn’t a twist, it is completely predictable, actually this is the most conventional ending of any book I have ever read, but the way he wrote it was a very very interesting choice. That is all I am going to say.