Hot Milk

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Read 02/10/2016-04/10/2016

Rating: 3 stars

I’d read a couple of reviews of this book because of its longlisting for the Booker. When it was shortlisted, I decided to read it. I liked its dreamlike nature. The way Sofia retreated from reality in her role as carer to her mother. The way, in the Almerían heat, she cracked and burned until a different Sofia emerged. The way she embraced boldness and allowed herself to be set free from responsibility by the doctor she had brought her mother to see. Continue reading

The Marriage Plot

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Read 16/07/2016-19/07/2016

Rating: 4 stars

This book was a delight. The prose fizzed with exuberance. Experiencing Madeleine’s college life, her friendships, her romantic trysts, her wrestling with what to study and why, was like experiencing university again. Madeleine the character as Proustian cake.

Madeleine is confident and secure in her privileged background. She’s a loved daughter. She’s also somehow confident in her parochialism when moving among the aesthetes and pseuds. I warmed to her. She is sarcastic and engaged at the same time as being rudderless. For the first half of the book, she breaks her own rules and changes her perception of herself. She is trying to find out who she is and what she wants. Does she sacrifice herself on the altar of her great love for Leonard? Is that love as great as she thinks it is? Continue reading

The Island

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Read 30/01/2016-31/01/2016

Rating: 3.5 stars

Read for The Reader’s Room Winter Scavenger Hunt Challenge

This was a surprise, chosen at random from my local library, as per the instructions for day 12 of the reading challenge.

The Island explores the history of a leper colony located on Spiraling, an island off the shore of Crete. Victoria Hislop’s book is well-researched, and the back history of the leper colony alongside the history of German occupation during the Second World War lifts it above the average beach read. Continue reading

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

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Read sometime in 1995 or 1996

Rating: 3 stars

We were out for dinner last night with friends. Talk turned to books and in particular books that are fêted but which we don’t like. One such book for one of our group was Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. Or, as he renamed it, Captain Corelli’s Fucking Mandolin.

I’m with him on his dislike for the book. Perhaps not as vehemently, but I understand all the things he was saying about it. Continue reading