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The Judge   By: (1892-1983)

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Rebecca West's novel, The Judge, is a thought-provoking exploration of human nature and the complexities of love, power, and justice. Set against the backdrop of a post-war world, this literary masterpiece delves deep into the psychological depths of its characters, providing an insightful commentary on society's expectations, prejudices, and the limitations of morality.

The story revolves around the enigmatic figure of Artemis Stanton, a renowned judge known for his unwavering dedication to justice. As the plot unfolds, we are introduced to Fiona, a young woman accused of murdering her husband. What follows is not just a mere courtroom drama but a captivating exploration of the human soul, as West masterfully crafts a narrative that sheds light on the multi-faceted nature of truth and the intricate web of relationships that exist beyond the walls of the courtroom.

One of the most striking aspects of The Judge is West's ability to create characters that are deeply flawed yet undeniably relatable. Each character is meticulously developed, their complexities and vulnerabilities laid bare for readers to witness. Fiona, in particular, is a complex and compelling protagonist who challenges societal expectations and norms, questioning our perceptions of guilt and innocence.

West's prose is elegant and evocative, filled with vivid descriptions and insightful reflections on human behavior. Her keen observations on the dynamics of power and the consequences of societal judgments are especially poignant. Through her meticulous storytelling, she sparks important conversations about the nature of justice and how it can be influenced by personal bias and the complicated emotions that govern our actions.

Furthermore, The Judge is not only a psychological exploration but also a meditation on the post-war world, with West providing a perceptive commentary on the societal changes and shifting power dynamics in the aftermath of a devastating conflict. Her nuanced portrayal of the characters' struggles to find their place in this transformed landscape adds further depth to the narrative, highlighting the profound impact of war on individuals and society as a whole.

However, one minor critique of the book lies in its pacing. The narrative occasionally meanders, with certain sections feeling slightly slow. Yet, this leisurely pace also allows the reader to fully immerse themselves in the characters' internal struggles and West's exquisite prose.

Overall, The Judge is an exceptional novel that showcases Rebecca West's storytelling prowess. With its richly developed characters, thought-provoking themes, and profound insights into the human psyche, this book is a must-read for anyone interested in exploring the complexities of love, power, and justice.

First Page:




Author of "The Return Of The Soldier"

New York George H. Doran Company






"Every mother is a judge who sentences the children for the sins of the father."



It was not because life was not good enough that Ellen Melville was crying as she sat by the window. The world, indeed, even so much of it as could be seen from her window, was extravagantly beautiful. The office of Mr. Mactavish James, Writer to the Signet, was in one of those decent grey streets that lie high on the northward slope of Edinburgh New Town, and Ellen was looking up the side street that opened just opposite and revealed, menacing as the rattle of spears, the black rock and bastions of the Castle against the white beamless glare of the southern sky. And it was the hour of the clear Edinburgh twilight, that strange time when the world seems to have forgotten the sun though it keeps its colour; it could still be seen that the moss between the cobblestones was a wet bright green, and that a red autumn had been busy with the wind nipped trees, yet these things were not gay, but cold and remote as brightness might be on the bed of a deep stream, fathoms beneath the visitation of the sun... Continue reading book >>

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