Reviews of Crescent (2003)
Review by spiphany (2008-10-12)
A tender, sensitive love story. Rich, sensuous, dreamlike, joyful, and sometimes tearingly sad, the novel beautifully evokes Sirene's sense of being overwhelmed by her unexpected attraction to an exiled Arab literature professor, and her very physical sense of loss when she thinks she has lost him. The story is narrated entirely in the present tense, which gives it a particularly timeless feeling, but can be hard to sustain. It is done so skillfully here that I didn't notice until I went back to re-read parts of the novel.
The author apparently originally intended this as a reworking of Othello; this was not obvious to me while reading the story, but helps in retrospect to make sense of a number of plot elements which had puzzled me. The closure of the book was not entirely satisfactory, but the lack of closure -- while still offering hope -- seems a better solution than an artificial happy ending.