Friday, August 01, 2008
The difference between a scoundrel and your run-of-the-mill average person is often simply that a scoundrel has been found out. Average run-of-the-mill folk are quite good at hiding their unfortunate, unforgiveable tendencies.
Sara, the narrator of Cary's Herself Surprised, doesn't come across as horrible or mean-spirited or detestable--but her story begins at her sentencing, and she marvels at how the judge condemns her for smiling often as her misdeeds are recounted in court. She doesn't really understand the depths of her depravity or the true costs of her misdeeds, and because we are trapped in her point of view we don't really see an accurate picture of Sara at all, aside from some hints at darker truths and motives from time to time.
Cary carried on Sara's story in two further novels, narrated by other characters who might flesh out this mysterious story with more detail. I'll get around to those books eventually.