Book Review, September

I found this author via Radio 4, Desert Island Discs. Having spent so many years without the funds for new books, I am unaware of many writers whose work I would otherwise be munching up. Of course the 50p box at the second hand store has delivered me many unusual delights, no need for sympathy - but I heard Ali talk and thought, I like her, I want to read those books. So when I could, I bought a brand new paperback. I had been working long hours and the first page swam in front of me for a while. It seemed too dense, I couldn't get through it. Such disappointment! Luckily this was just tiredness - for which I will accept some sympathy because I am tired again today - this week I have clocked 97 hours! 
Anyway, we should discuss the book, now I’ve told you how honest-poor and hard working and admirable I am (grins, sheepish, impish). Two stories, one of a young girl whose mother has died, and one of a renaissance artist, are told and spliced without it seeming incongruous. It is full of humour, quirky, insightful, touching, thought provoking. Rather than give away too much about the book and how it is structured, because I revelled in discovery with this, I thought I’d pick a bit of prose to share.
Here is an extract from Georgie’s story (she’s the modern teenager) where she is keeping the leak in her bedroom ceiling a secret:

‘Her room will be stained with the grey grease and dregs of the dirt the rain has absorbed and carries, the dirt the air absorbs every day just from the fact of life on earth. Everything is this room will rot.
She will have the pleasure of watching it happen.
The floorboards will curl up at their ends, bend, split open at the nailed places and pull loose from their glue.
She will lie in bed with all the covers thrown off and the stars will be directly above her, nothing between her and their long-ago burnt-out eyes.’

Here are links to a superior review:

And a preview:


Sally said…
Sounds an interesting book.
Unknown said…
Interesting. I've not heard of the book or author before. Thanks for sharing!
V of V's Reads
Toi Thomas said…
Yeah, it can be hard finding time to read.

I can't get a good impression of this story from what you've shared, but the writing looks good. I'm glad you enjoyed it. What genre is it?
Lisa Southard said…
Pretty sure I've not done the best job of explaining it, but it is one I'll be re-reading. Thanks Veronica :-)
Lisa Southard said…
Time and energy often pushed to the limit here - but all the more enjoyed when I get either/both.
No one can get a good impression of the story from this review, Toi, because mostly it's me saying how tired I am!
I would class this as contemporary fiction. And the writing is good :-)
My wife's a big fan of Desert Island Discs. I don't think I've heard the Ali Smith episode but the book sounds like fun.
Lisa Southard said…
Desert Island Discs is an absolute classic :-)

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