Adjani Gama Dessavre
Could I have one of your
cake fish postcards? What a random question for starting an article. However, that’s the first question Sabine makes to Griffin in their correspondence exchange. And what I am even talking about? Griffin & Sabine: An Extraordinary Correspondence by Nick Bantock. It is the last book I have read, and it is as extraordinary as the title leads us to believe.
It all starts when artist Griffin Moss receives a postcard from Sabine. It contains the question that you read first in this article, a casual language and a sense of closeness to Griffin. The kind of postcard that you would receive from an old friend you’ve lost touch with several years ago. However, the thing is… who is Sabine? No, not even Griffin seems to know, yet she knows a lot of his work.
What do I mean with “she knows a lot of his work”? Let’s start with the fact that Griffin is an artist and he designs postcards for a living. And Sabine, well, she knows things about the way he painted his designs, how he changed his mind on a shape or darkened a colour. But Griffin has no idea about who Sabine is, and he is definitely intrigued. She doesn’t seem to be a stalker but rather a friendly person with whom to share some words.
And that is how their correspondence starts, with a simple postcard and a simple question. Now let me mention an essential fact. The book is not only words. No, it is far from that! You can actually see the postcards and appreciate the art on them, which I loved. The next photograph of the book has one of my favourite pages. Also, some letters come in envelopes.
All of those little details make the experience of reading this book completely different. You get the sensation of reading someone else’s mail, of getting to know their life in secret. And maybe, you also feel a little bit like your prying into their lives as if you were reading someone’s diary. I definitely enjoyed the experience (though I am not recommending you to read other peoples diaries and private letters!).
And so you keep reading and wanting to know more and more as the mysteries keep revealing themselves, and as you get to know more of the lives of our characters. For moments you can taste darker hints in the story, sometimes there are feelings of loneliness and melancholy. And everything takes you to either an unexpected ending or to a finale that you felt in your guts. Either way, it is definitely great.
I’ve recently discovered it is a trilogy, so I’m eager to read the rest of the books. I definitely want the printed version of books, so I can sense the whole experience. Whatever can be in that correspondence?! So I am only left with thanking the woman that recommended this book to me.
Thank you, Katrina, you are a fantastic person! You always give me the best recommendations. And now it is my turn to tell all of you to go and read this book!