A Sentence of Life


Yesterday I started reading PD James’ The Black Tower. And after just one chapter, I’m absolutely in love with her.
The book features one of James’ extremely popular characters, Commander Adam Dalgliesh. Although he is a poet (apart from being our hero and ‘in the Force’), he is neither the object of nor the reason for my adulations. Those are solely for the author herself.
The first chapter deals with a convalescent Dalgliesh, who has been given “a sentence of life”; after being misdiagnosed as having a terminal illness, he has been assured that he will live after all. But instead of being relieved and thankful, Adam is feeling resentful. He’d looked back at his life and his job, and had found them trivial and wanting. Now he’ll not only have to go back to the old job, but also believe that it is important to him. Above all, he’ll have to listen to other people congratulate him on his ‘lucky escape’.
This almost perverse point of view is what has hooked me. I’m hoping that the rest of the book will be as unpredictable as Dalgliesh himself.

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