* “beginning” in Sacred Hunger by Barry Unsworth

Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 23, 2009

  • the prologue is set in 1832, whereas Chapter One is set in 1752-53. In the prologue an old plantaton slave from Carolina (which is where we later learn slaves captured in the settlement were to be taken) talks of a Liverpool ship and his white father (later we know this is Paris) who was a doctor on the ship. I totally forgot about this prologue until I reached the epilogue. So … was it necessary? helpful? distracting? 
  • there is, in effect, a second beginning: Book Two on page 397, begins in 1765, a gap of 12 years. This creates a need for extensive flashbacks, which are inserted at different places in the second story. This works very effectively to create suspense and a desire to kniw what happened in the intervening years.

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