Monday, 15 March 2010

The Poison Principle: a Memoir of Family Secrets and Literary Poisonings

I'm a huge fan of (auto)biographies. I don't know why, but I'm sure there's a good reason for it. I'm also a little on the morbid side, being an archaeologist. Exploring a cemetery/graveyard is a fun way to spend an afternoon and is probably why I'm so fond of churches, since the two are commonly associated. I've exhumed graves and sorted out physical anthropology collections (ie: boxes of skeletons). I have a somewhat irreverent attitude to death and the dead. I'm fond of murder mysteries and I have a small piece of my (maternal) grandfather's humerus in a match-box on my 'dressing-table'.

As a result, I picked this up expecting a fascinating tale about the discovery of murder in the family. I was disappointed. It was, however, a fascinating description about the suspicion of murder in the family and a woman's quest to uncover the truth of the matter. This also gave some insight into personality and how people can distort the truth for their own ends, sometimes without even realising that that's what they're doing. The effects that such secrecy and suspicion can have on the following generations of the family is also something that interests me. How many family secrets do I not know about, that affect the ways my families interact with each other?

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