There’s something so very different about reading on holiday.
I had started and not progressed with ‘The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society’ months ago and put it away. Something made me pull it out and pack it for the holiday and this time I found it an enjoyable and informative read while relaxing in France. Amusing and light, but still managing to convey some of the horror of living under German occupation.
‘The Shieling’ by David Constantine is a very enjoyable collection of short stories. I love the way his seemingly simple style hits the spot and reveals an unexpected moment or a turning point and I yearn to be able to write so effectively.
‘Dancing Backwards’ by Salley Vickers was another joy of a book, in a way similar in style to David Constantine’s writing, examining the intricacies of relationships. The novel is set within the time frame of a cruise and arrival, and reveals the history and loves of the main character and through this we slowly discover the reason for the cruise.
‘The White Woman on the Green Bicycle’ by Monique Roffey was short-listed for the Orange Prize in 2010. It is a story set in Trinidad over a 50 years time span exploring the political fight for independence through the eyes of Sabine, originally French, and her husband. I enjoyed it, but found the structure a little odd, finishing in the middle and then changing narrator and starting from another point… and did not develop enough empathy for the two main characters to rave about it. It would be a good book to read for a book group as there is a great deal to discuss.
Guy de Maupassant’s writing is wonderful, on a par with Checkov. I took Maupassant’s ‘Best Short Stories’ and savoured each. The knack for revealing a character in a deft and amusing manner is one to which I also aspire! Social niceties and undercurrents of character defects revealed: such insights to the human condition.
I also read Joanna Trollopes ‘Second Honeymoon‘ – a light easy holiday read, up to her usual standard.
I saved ‘The Lacuna’ by Barbara Kingsolver until last. So far so brilliant! It beat ‘Wolf Hall’ to the Orange prize last year and rightly so, in my opinion. ‘Wolf Hall’ was excellent, but this is wonderful. I still have about 200 hundred pages to go, so I shall not say too much more here. However I shall have to put it down as I have book club next week and I haven’t only started reading ‘A Visit from the Goon Squad’ by Jennifer Egan last night.
The problem now will be squeezing in a few pages at bed time, and ‘Can I finish the book in 10 days?’
I had intended to take a copy on holiday, but somehow it fell off the bottom of the list of things to do. The top bunk in the spare room is still full of books waiting my attention, mainly bought at Oxfam book sales and charity events.
I need another holiday, already.