Piranesi by Susanna Clarke is one of those books that come at the right time in one’s life. At this moment, I feel like I am on a bridge hovering between before pandemic times and after pandemic times. Due to all of the restrictions, our world has shrunk these last two years. At the same time, we always find there is more to discover.
The Beauty of the House is immeasurable; it’s Kindness infinite.Piranesi, Susanna Clarke
Our house kept us safe these past two years. Our house provided a space for us to live. And admittedly, we hadn’t been in one house last year. There was a period where we were between places. But our house was also what connected us and held us together. So the house is more than a physical space.
But what about the book? It is quite a lovely read. The main character, Piranesi, is a kind soul and it is heartwarming to see how much he cares for the House and the inhabitants in it. That includes the dead, alive and statues. They are all part of the House and all deserve to share in it’s kindness.
What makes this book an enjoyable read is it’s prose. You can tell that Clarke crafted this story with as much love and attention Piranesi gives to the House. I don’t want to go too much into the plot or details because I do believe that this is a tale that is best uncovered without spoilers. Just like Piranesi walks from room to room without knowing what comes next. Or even what came before.
I admit after finishing the book I went back and looked up the prints and drawings by Giovanni Battista Piranesi and I do recommend others do the same. I can almost image myself walking through the great house with endless halls.