October 23, 2013

"Why Done It" - A Short Review Of "A Judgement Of Stone" By Ruth Rendell

Ruth Rendell, writer
Ruth Rendell, writer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
"Eunice Parchman Killed Coverdole family because she could not read or write." This is the first line of the mystery fiction A Judgement Of Stone, by Ruth Rendell. So there is no mystery. But really, I read on with great interest, because what would be a greater mystery than "who done it", is "why done it".

Eurince Parchman is a illiterate by chance, or by misfortune. This "handicap" brings her discomfort, humiliation, and ultimately: fear. To avoid this fear, she is incredibly ingenious in handling "dangerous" situations. But how much she can do to avoid nightmares created by herself? How could such a simple problem not being solved through the course of her 48 years life? We would have clues after we read the book.

Not only this book displays a stunning darkness of human nature and how it was shaped, but also it reflects an unfortunate fact: there really is a limit of what our kindness can do. Sometime, our good will could be extremely fragile when facing some twisted personality that has been gone too far, too stubborn that it is impossible to be mended. It becomes a "stone", not anymore a human being.

This is the first book of Ruth Rendell I read, already I am impressed by her genius insight of humanity. I am excited to read more of her masterpieces. Thanks Ruth Rendell for rendering such a profound insight into a brilliant art work!

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  1. Sounds like a compelling read, Yun Yi.

  2. You wrote a wonderfully comprehensive book review, Yun Yi! Discovering the “why” and exploring the depths, however dark, of the human spirit, rather than just the “who done it” makes a mystery so much more inviting to read. Very interesting story.

    1. Madilyn, your compliment give my mood a lift today! Thanks!