Plot introduction[ edit ] The novel opens with twelve middle-aged women meeting at a South African boarding school where they were once pupils. Their reunion stirs memories of a long hot summer in the s when they were the elite members of the school swimming team, managed by the forceful, charismatic Miss G. But the women share a secret concerning the fate of the missing 13th member of the swimming team: Fiamma, the enigmatic daughter of an Italian aristocrat and with whom Miss G becomes obsessed, leading to sexual jealousy and suspicion among the rest of the team, with tragic results. Inspiration[ edit ] As revealed in the authors website, the violent death of her sister thirty years ago in apartheid South Africa caused her to explore in her fiction the theme of "violence within intimate relationships, in particular, the abuse of power and privilege". We read nineteenth century literature exclusively, and our history lessons stopped before the first world war, which was considered too recent to be taught.
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Start your review of Cracks Write a review Shelves: the-movie-is-better , ugh I knew what I was getting into with this one, I really did. Like most people who have reviewed this book, I decided to seek this out because I had just watched the movie version and wanted to know how the two compared.
And wow. Fiamma, the wealthy and beautiful new student, is from Spain and has a tragic, scandalous past. The swimming team has twelve members which means twice as many characters to keep track of, and consequently none of them get fleshed out properly , and Fiamma is Italian, and her character is much harder to pin down and define.
Comparing the two stories is an interesting study in the art of adaptation, and I could easily write an entire review about just that, but I digress. The core group of characters are the twelve members of the school swimming team, who get a new member in Fiamma Coronna. Fiamma is an Italian aristocrat, and everyone is immediately fascinated by her - especially Miss G, the swimming teacher, whose fascination with Fiamma turns to obsession as the other girls become increasingly jealous.
Sometime during that year, Fiamma disappeared in the countryside around the school, and the book unravels the mystery of what happened to her and why, interspersed with scenes of the girls returning to the school as middle-aged women.
And some of the narrative choices Kohler made are The book is narrated by an omnipresent "we" - which, I think, was a good choice. Instead of focusing on a single main character, Kohler makes the girls into one single group entity, which both reinforces the terrifying groupthink of the girls and emphasizes how they are all collectively responsible for what happened to Fiamma. There is no "I" or "she" to pin the tragedy on; everyone is guilty. That was good; less good is the fact that one of the girls is named Sheila Kohler.
Who grows up to be a writer. I have no idea what to make of this. And the decision to show scenes of the women as adults returning to the school serves no fucking purpose. Book Miss G is merely a cliche of a predatory older bull dyke who seduces young girls, like the worst nightmare of fundamentalists everywhere. I will have no inhibitions here!
Give me your secrets, girls, give me the dark depths of your hearts, and I will give you the light. She said there were certain subjects we should get out of the way, so that we could go about our business. She knew what we were thinking.
Cracks the movie
Her quest to find out what it is that she desires—a quest that will last decades and is recounted with the seriousness it deserves, lightened with touches of dry comedy—ends in the discovery that she is and has always been a writer. Upon matriculation at 17 from Saint Andrews, with a distinction in history , she left the country for Europe. She lived for 15 years in Paris, where she married, did her undergraduate degree in literature at the Sorbonne, and a graduate degree in psychology at the Institut Catholique. It has been optioned six times by Killer films and Working Track 2. In she was awarded a fellowship at the Dorothy and Lewis B.