Saturday, April 25, 2009

Sepulchre - parallel lives

Sepulchre by Kate Mosse is a story of parallel lives, parallel in that the two women protagonists walked the same ground, one in 1891 and one in 2007. It is a fascinating concept, lives intersecting, transcending time barriers.

Meredith has gone to France to do research on a biography of Claude Debussy which she is writing. She also has plans to research her family history, to try to come to an understanding of how her personal heritage has shaped her life.

In Paris Meredith is disappointed by the buildings associated with Debussy's life there. Some are no longer there, others are shabby in appearance. Meredith does feel "echos of the past", although it is not clear to her whether those echos relate to Debussy's life or to something more personal to her.

I understand Meredith's frustration at learning that some of the buildings in which Debussy lived have been demolished. I have gone searching for the homes of Betty Herndon Maury in Washington, D.C. Betty lived in Fredericksburg, Virginia during part of the American Civil War, and I have transcribed the diary she kept during those years at my other blog, The House on Caroline Street. While the house she lived in during her time in Fredericksburg still stands, her home in Washington was demolished to make way for an office building, and I have been unable to find a photo of the house before its destruction.

In Sepulchre, the stories of Leonie in 1891 and Meredith in 2007 alternate. I am guessing that the two stories will intersect in time, and it will be interesting to watch how that intersection plays out.

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