This is an update of a prior post on the occasion of my fourth reading of this great book with a few new observations added at the start.
Notes added after fourth reading
"Parts of The Keepsake somehow brought to mind ancient death cults or Meso-American religion."-from my first post on The Keepsake (in September 2011)
This is my third reading of a very amazing almost painfully beautiful very dark book, The Keepsake by Kirsty Gunn (1960, New Zealand). I hope to read it a number of more times.
There is so much in this book it is hard for me to know where to start. I found reading it the third time a very intense experience as I feel I am beginning to come to terms with the work.
Here is the goodreads description of the book (almost never do I quote third party descriptions but I need help here)
Through a shifting and interwoven narrative, Kirsty Gunn explores the dark world of a young girl who has grown up with a mother dependent on storytelling and the oblivion of addiction to cope with the memory of her lost love, the girl's father. Raised on these deceptive tales of happiness, the younger woman is drawn into and begins to relive the real story of pain, abandonment, and the tyranny of desire. Her shocking affair with an older man seems to repeat the pattern set by her mother. The tangled yarn of her mother's past begins to be unraveled by the younger woman - until finally she can come to tell a story that is her.