Sue Harper

The Dark Nest



 A book by Sue Harper

Egaeus Press MMXX

My previous reviews of this publisher:

When I continue to read this book, Covfefe permitting, my thoughts will appear in the comment stream below…

22 responses to “Sue Harper


    “And what would be left to eat, once the tins had been finished.”

    A triffic fable morn, a new dawn for this book. an arguably inadvertent greening of our planet by a previous dire apocalypse.

  2. “While yet her charming face is surrounded with all its virgin glories; and before the plough of disappointment has thrown up furrows of distress upon every lovely feature.” From CLARISSA HARLOWE by Samuel Richardson

    FE159FEE-DB2A-4C4E-9968-407219FA0147THE SHINING FURROW

    A truly remarkable epiphlet for this now perhaps genuine new dawn beyond lockdown, as the woman’s outer surface attenuates into translucency, like an angel, but then transparently where everyone can witness all the bodily inner workings, and a sense of sin-eating for the newly dead provides some healing. It is all rather disturbing what is happening within our bodies, intimate spots, gall spirts and so forth, but instead of gloom, the ending has some inspiring musical ‘dying fall’ of a gestalt returned. From rust to shine.


    “Finally, he began to have the most troubling dreams.”

    Henry has some of his own co-vivid dreams for REAL, and I continue to be stirred by the counterintuitive repercussions between the genders, where one can interpret things with a flair or bravado newborn from this literature. With gratuitous darkness and light. Here, Henry is a bespoke collector of collectible objects for himself and professionally for others. Here, miniature bathing beauties for himself, Art Deco or not, on dolphins or suns, flying freefall or grounded.


    I sometimes attach a laugh-out-loud to my reading and reviewing but, this morning, I had for me evoked a split-my-sides! By this story of the narrator’s Joseph Andrews weaponised larger than life only (only?) to shrink back to a mere Shamela …. even a nested Clarissa?

  5. sue ditmar

    Exactly! Well spotted with the play on Fielding! Sue Harper

  6. Sorry, just this minute, I accidentally read the following work before reading ‘The Salt Pans’, a mistake I shall hopefully rectify tomorrow…


    “colour, space and timbre”

    A fascinating account of Stella encountering the spitting image of her seven-years-dead love called Jamie. And her attempts to emulate brief encounters in railway stations seem to help create an effectively figurative fable about the horrific dangers of breaking today’s social distancing rules… All this in a fiction work that surely must have been written well before we had even heard of Covid-19.


    “She started to frequent funerals—rather informal affairs these days, with a hastily scraped hole—“

    These days, too, it seems fitting to harvest salt from tears and sweat. Towards our own soul’s spelunking, too. Another apposite epiphlet to savour.
    And the first SALT Agreement, I note, was signed on today’s date in 1972.

  8. From rocky spelunking or hawling to the sheer thought of becoming swaddled in smooth, creamy Real Irish linen sheets…


    “I had watched all this aslant…”

    And, with the help of this story about Vera, I aver that it crowns my growing belief that “all this” is a special once-in-a-lifetime book, a book of epiphlets that has come at its optimum moment IN that life. Here Vera is one of my imagination’s lodgers supplied by this book with a dark nest’s bloodstain marring each moment of waking — each morning become a spur to brainstorming visions. From red to lissamine. From spelunk to spunk. Through a mine’s creative lift-shaft mangle. We all grow old and look like ‘grand’ should be our prefix, my dear. I say this when, nearly always, she enters the room just as I finish dealing with each day’s epiphlet.


    “There were tucks and frills and peplums, so that Vera (who was a tiny thing) looked almost lost in it,…”

    I have spent the morning looking at images of peplums. Here a widening dress that was an autocorrect for wedding. Or vice versa. Whatever, THIS launch was not cancelled. My Mum and Dad, incidentally, got engaged during the war, too. Who knows what would have happened if I hadn’t later been parachuted into their lives… And what of those other tucks and frills?


    From Bohemian love to Crimean apogee, from her bound breasts to a chest full of money, and via a dubbing by today’s figurative symptom of scrofula, the eponymous lady forms here, for the first time, a new truth about her involvement with Sherlock. Ending with probably the most striking poetic image ever of the Volga, here in her likeness. A work, as part of this whole book, that is perhaps, since Conan Doyle, the strongest candidate in my long-term public search for works truly turning fiction into truth.


    “So far so good.”

    …and that’s all we REALLY can wish for. But we somehow return to the end of this reviews’s first half with The Gears Of Time, this now not being the first half but the second, or hour, or day… or even eternity whereby we remain out of synch with even ourselves. Only fiction has sufficient gears for the optimum gestalt to be created therefrom, and luckily Samantha and Jimmy are in fiction, and hope thus remains for them. The remains of the day, if not eternity… whether it be an androgynous Genie out of a clock or Jimmy out of a lissamine bush.

  12. “…coffins, where black death 

    Keeps record of the trophies won”
    Percy Bysshe Shelley


    “, she felt better than she had for months: empty, lissom almost.”

    Shelley has an operation clearing a blockage… somehow reminds me of Dickens’ walking coffins…giving birth to the death of the one who first helped give her birth, a theme and variation upon Mary Shelley? A synergy by mutual ventriloquism so fitting for this book wherein often grotesque or sexually vulgar absurdisms reveal more truth for our times than the reality of bodily distances.


    I find this synergy quite INCREDIBLE, and it perhaps shows how pre-tuned I am with parts of this book even before I have read them! Rapunzel and her dark nest of hair….
    For example, in the last day or so, I have happened to propound this about its sister story in Tennyson’s The Lady of Shalott (see my appended comments to this blog post:…
    And there are several references to Rapunzel in my real-time reviewing over the years.
    This Harper story concentrates on her hair, ALL her body hair as an accretively hirsute pelisse, as it would!! — another absurdist effigy of our unbarbered lockdown times!

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