The LRK Virtual Tour: Day Three

Today our Touchstone virtual tour touches down at, of all places, the venerable Wall Street Journal, with a piece entitled “Roiled Britannia” which concludes: Like a well-managed Edwardian soirée, “Touchstone” is by turns relaxed, tense, amusing, thought-provoking — and memorably satisfying.

And slightly off topic for a Touchstone tour, but who’s counting, The Beekeeper’s Apprentice is featured at the site Reading Group Choices

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  1. smk24 on January 7, 2008 at 11:37 am

    I just finished Touchstone this weekend, or should I say my leisurely “Friday to Monday”? Many, many thanks for a thoroughly satisfying read! As I was moving along with the flow, Pat Barker’s Regeneration trilogy came to mind with the story of the WWI psychiatrist and anthropologist, WHR Rivers and his sensitive treatment of shell shocked troops. Your descriptions of WWI trench warfare shock and what we now know as PTSD were portrayed very well. Touchstone also had some very interesting portrayals of relationships at deeper levels and the various forms of connectedness which can occur between people who have commonalities of experience. Issues of sexuality and gender identification unfold with great sensitivity to the human condition…the, in many cases, secret part of ourselves which we can barely acknowledge to ourselves let alone share openly with another person. Gender roles, expectations and responsibilities in upperclass British society are so very interesting too. I really love the ability of a character to, despite lower birth and connections pull off enough of a facsimilie to insinuate themselves into the mix for a time…it is like a conduit for the common man to sneak into that otherwise closed off world. And by opposite turns, the desire of some upper class individuals to want to somehow identify with the people who suffer extreme poverty, to say, I know how you are feeling and I suffer for you (a fact which can never really be true). Some of these things have appeared in other stories you have written and yet for Touchstone they were fresh and new, an entirely different story with a surprising finish.

    Again, many thanks!

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