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Miss Garnet's Angel

  The Book of Tobit and Zoroastrianism ass

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Our reading group discussed this book yesterday and the discussion became quite heated over the ending. Five of the group were convinced that Julia died in the end when the dog led her across the bridge. I understand that this is an obvious interpretation, but could another be that she had some sort of vision, an accumulation, in fact, of the changes she has been through over the course of the book? Coming to terms with Harriet's death has changed a complete atheist into someone who believes in, and even sees glimpses of, the after life. The Will she writes does not indicate necessarily that she has died already, as we know she was going to prepare one. Rather, it is is a nice way of summing up all the ties she has forged, and the change she has made, from being a lonely, closed woman to one with many friends. For someone who felt at one point she had achieved little, she is leaving behind a lot. I would be interested to know if any other readers were happy to read the ending in this more ambiguous way. I certainly think it makes for a much better ending, she's got a few good years in her yet!

Deborah Egleton of the Wiley reading group in Chichester, West Sussex, UK





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