Sweet Caress

by William Boyd

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Featured image for Sweet Caress

Another fictional autobiography, but unlike Rodham which I read recently this one is of an entirely fictional character: Photographer Amory Clay who was born in 1908 and is writing her book in the 1970s. I really enjoyed it and the way her life developed and changed over the course of the years seemed very realistic. I was impressed with how it read very much like a real life rather than a fictional one, I’m not quite sure why, something of the foreshadowing of fiction was missing perhaps. Different parts of her life didn’t mesh together neatly, and some of the events in the book seemed to appear from nowhere but it all made sense together.

The book is illustrated with photographs, supposedly taken by Amory, though I believe they were all collected by the author and he shaped the story around them. I was reading the book as an e-library copy and in ‘dark mode’ which made the photos appear in reverse as if they were negatives. I thought this was a feature at first and liked it. Eventually I twigged as to how my electronic copy was screwed up and went into ‘light mode’ to view the pictures, but I quite liked it with the photographer’s darkroom view really!