Six Things you should know about The Children’s Home
Charles Lambert’s latest novel The Children’s Home has taken reviewers and bloggers by storm. This is a short novel that has left more than one scratching their heads and starting endless conversations about the plot, the characters and the overall meaning of the novel. Sounds like the perfect choice for your book club? It is!
So we asked reviewers to send us a question for Charles that would keep this fascinating chat going. And the answers are now revealed. Needless to say, Charles did not want to give much away for those who are yet to discover this wonderful read. Ready? Here’s what we found out.
What do you consider to be the message of this novel?
CL: Ha ha! That’s for you to decide!
When I read the name ‘Engel’, I immediately thought of ‘angel’. Was that intentional?
CL: Yes, it was. Some of the children also have significant names – Moira, David (‘beloved’, but also the enemy of Goliath). Oh yes, and Rebecca comes from a Hebrew word meaning ‘snare’. The name Morgan may have been inspired by EM Forster, I don’t remember, and Crane by the Doctor’s resemblance to the bird.
As far as your writing goes, what category do you fall into: ‘panster’ or ‘outliner’—or somewhere in-between?
CL: Panster, definitely. I like to be surprised by what my characters do, and to be free to let the story take me in a direction I don’t expect and haven’t planned for. I reach a point – many points – where I have to start pulling things together, obviously, but if the story is working as it should be that often seems to happen of its own accord.
When you started writing The Children’s Home, did you have the ending already planned or did you start with a different ending and find that as the work progressed you had to change it?
CL: See above!
I would like to know what does Charles Lambert think about the ending? What did he feel when he wrote those final words, and did he knew the ending of the book when he started to write it.
CL: What do I think? That’s it’s the only way the story could have ended. What did I feel? Relieved. Exhausted. Empty. Satisfied. Did I know the ending when I started? If I had done I would never have bothered to write the book!
In which way the work of Christian Boltanski influenced the writing of The Children’s Home?
CL: The book was stalled and I was working on something else when I saw a Boltanski installation in Paris of children’s clothes crammed onto metal shelves. That led me along a certain path that showed me how the novel might develop. And that’s all I’m prepared to say!
Special thanks to NetGalley reviewers Janeth S. Colley, Elliot Kriss and Ola Czerniecka for sending their questions for Charles.Buy ‘The Children’s Home’