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Cracks Author Sheila Kohler

N relive the horror of a long buried secret A stunning and singular tale of the passion and tribalism of adolescence Cracks lays bare the violence that lurks in the heart of even the most innocent. I read about this one in Vanity Fair It is being made into a movie starring Eva Green the sexy French woman from one of the recent Bond moviesI found this little 165 pager really moving I liked the use of the collective we as the narrator The book was strangely moving for me Even though these girls were so together and acted as a group in many ways they were all hurting so much by being apart from their families They all want the love and attention of Miss G so badly as some sort of replacement I was surprised by the cause of Fiamma s death Even though the story hinted all along the way about the tragic ending I really hoped it would turn out differently I was surprised though that the girls now back at the school as adults did not atone for their actions Their regret and sorrow felt flat to me I would definitely recommend this book Please read it so we can discuss it at length

Review Cracks Author Sheila Kohler

Ing girl's swimming team gather at their old boarding school for a reunion and look back to the long dry weeks leading to Fiamma's disappearance As teenage memories and emotions resurface the wome. I d never heard of the author or the book but I saw a reference to it in a comment on Dare Me and discovered the library at the U had a copy so took a few hours off from Jojo Moyes to read it As my rating indicates I thought it a pretty good but not great school story Exept for Miss G the swim coach the characters were not clearly drawn and there were too many to follow in such a short book The victim Fiamma never became real enough to care about what happened to her Miss G seemed largely made up of bits and pieces of Jean BrodieSetting was excellent a girls boarding school in South Africa in the days of the white Nationalist govenment It s difficult to identify even the decade in whih the story takes place South Africa in those days was trapped in a kind of cultural time warp and some of the references eg Brigitte Bardot dated from as long ago as the 50s But I d guess late 60s or early 70sAs I understood it a crack is a crush or a pash Miss G such a bad one for the new Italian girl on the swim team that the whole team plunge okay it s a swim team I couldn t resist into a losing streak I didn t really believe that and the girls want her to be nice to Miss G so they can regain their form It wasn t clear just how far she was supposed to go The girls jealousy school stories almost always feature jealousy leads to victimisation and rough housing that gots very out of hand If you ve read Alex Marwood s The Wicked Girls you know what could have happened to the girls if a nasty prosecutor got on their caseI can stil remember us discussing Keats The Eve of St Agnes in English class at my school so long ago and how we were to distinguish between sensuous which is okay and something literature was supposed to be and sensual which was er not all right we were supposed to be Catholics Still I was surprised that that trying to act out Keats poem could turn schoolgirls into a bunch of Maenads straight out of Euripides Dionysus being present in the form of fermented pineapple juice UghFor such a short book Cracks unfolds very slowly I m probably over rating it by one star but I was grateful to add it to my school stores shelf

Summary × eBook, ePUB or Kindle PDF ´ Sheila Kohler

Now a major motion picture starring Eva Green and directed by Jordan ScottA beautiful schoolgirl mysteriously disappears into the South African veld Forty years later thirteen members of the miss. Cracks is one of five books I picked up at a charity bookshop shortly before lockdown began It isn t a book I was looking for I hadn t heard of it or the author before Based on the blurb plus a scan of the first few pages it struck me as something like Picnic at Hanging Rock the hothouse atmosphere of an all girls school an unexplained disappearance meets The Virgin Suicides first person plural narration dreamy tone The South African setting also interested meThe school at the centre of the story sits alone amid the arid landscape of the veld Indeed it s so cut off from the world that the fact it s in South Africa is irrelevant in terms of socialpolitical context When the characters of Cracks are students in what seems like the late 1950s the curriculum puts a heavy emphasis on sports and the girls of the swimming team are perceived as the cream of the crop At the beginning of the book 13 former members of the team gather for a reunion Their memories are drawn back to the year a girl disappeared The women narrate the story as a chorus one of them is called Sheila Kohler Kohler has said that Cracks is not autobiographical though she did attend a girls boarding school in the middle of the veld and received a similar education to the characters in the book In such an isolated location with no male students or staff it s no big surprise that the girls develop crushes or in their parlance cracks on Miss G their boyish swimming teacher What is surprising and disturbing is Miss G s behaviour towards the girls She gives them alcohol invites them to her room to play inappropriate games picks favourites and gives terrible advice But it s with the arrival of a new student the beautiful Italian aristocrat Fiamma Coronna that things really escalate Miss G becomes so obsessed with Fiamma that her behaviour ceases to be simply strange it becomes outright stalking and eventually sexual assault The swimming team neglected by their idol inevitably turn against the new girlKohler s prose conjures up a beautiful lucid lonely world the air sweet with honeysuckle jasmine and orange peel the lawns incandescent with heat and sheen and a mist like gauze hanging across the star wild sky The narration also works well the girls share so many experiences and feelings it doesn t seem unnatural for them to speak as a chorus The story is not uite as successful It s believable that the girls would fall under the spell of Miss G as teenagers but the horrible climax of the Fiamma plot didn t convince me and nor did the characters inability to confront any of this as adults At this point the lyrical style started to seem less of a considered choice and like a smokescreen for an inadeuate endingIn the end it reminded me most of Such Small Hands and I also think the Virgin Suicides comparison stands but personally I didn t like either of those books It has a bit of the author didn t know how to end the story energy you sometimes find in debuts though Kohler had in fact published two novels and two story collections before it Until reading some other reviews I had no idea Cracks had been made into a movie with Eva Green as Miss G though I don t think the book is completely without merit it seems the general consensus is that the film is betterTinyLetter


About the Author: Sheila Kohler

Sheila Kohler was born in Johannesburg South Africa the younger of two girls Upon matriculation at 17 from Saint Andrews with a distinction in history 1958 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 Catholiue After raising her three girl



10 thoughts on “Cracks Author Sheila Kohler

  1. says:

    I knew what I was getting into with this one I really didLike 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 Going into this book I knew that the movie had taken several huge steps away from Kohler's original story and based on that knowledge I was pretty sure I wouldn't love the book as much as I loved the movie And I was positive that

  2. says:

    Cracks is one of five books I picked up at a charity bookshop shortly before lockdown began It isn't a book I was looking for – I hadn't heard of it or the author before Based on the blurb plus a scan of the first few pages it struck me as something like Picnic at Hanging Rock the hothouse atmosphere of an all girls school; an

  3. says:

    This is hands down among the worst books I have ever read I have no idea what other people see in it My gripes are many but I'll try to limit them to things that people might find useful1 The narrative style it's written in first person plural which means the voice is always a we with no concrete sense of whom that includes This makes is extremely difficult to conjure any sympathy for the narrator which I imagine the reader should feel2

  4. says:

    I saw the film “Cracks” and out of curiosity decided to read the book and found it to be deviated from the mo

  5. says:

    Beautifully written incredibly scary and mesmerizing

  6. says:

    I'd never heard of the author or the book but I saw a reference to it in a comment on Dare Me and discovered the library at the U had a copy so took a few hours off from Jojo Moyes to read it As my rating indicates I thought it a pretty good

  7. says:

    I watched the movie before reading the book They are uite different but not in a bad wayFirst of all the setting is different The movie takes place in GB filming took place in Ireland and the book is set in South AfricaSome characters have different names Rosie Poppy etc in the movie but it doesn't change the actual storyI found the

  8. says:

    I read about this one in Vanity Fair It is being made into a movie starring Eva Green the sexy French woman from one of the recent Bond moviesI found this little 165 pager really moving I liked the use of the collective we as the narrator The book was strangely moving for me Even though these girls were so toget

  9. says:

    15 stars Cracks is one of those dream like books that makes the reader walk around in a daze If crafted correctly such books can be amazing reading experiences but unfortunately Cracks fell short The writing with all the repeated phr

  10. says:

    Hmm this was good but odd Cracks is the tale of a group of young teenage girls at a South African boarding school back in the 60's The weather is hot and dry the school is isolated and the girls don't have much

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