Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Present poppies, future trees. Recent reading

Recent Reading -

The Story of Lucy Gault by William Trevor. A short book, wonderfully written, about sad old times in Ireland. Some sentences I re-read from sheer enjoyment of the style, but the story line was elegiac and one knew from the general tone of the book that there would be no happy ending. It is almost unbelievable that Lucy’s parents accidentally left behind their runaway 9-year-old daughter, thinking her dead, but Trevor explains the coincidences and you do believe. All the same, I did keep wondering why the exiled father didn’t post a letter to the faithful retainers back in Ireland just to ask if they were OK. No one had any energy, or at least the right kind of energy – they just wasted their lives in guilt and regret. I'll probably read it again though.

Star Gazing by Linda Gillard. An imaginative, well-crafted love story. Widowed Marianne, the blind heroine, is tough and determined not to be pitied. The rugged creative hero from Skye describes the world to her, using musical sounds, and she is drawn to him, despite her determination to remain independent. It will be interesting to know what impression the audio book will make on a blind listener.

I found the jolly hockey-sticks style of Provincial Daughter by RM Dashwood annoying, especially her constant use of capital letters for Amusing Effect. Not as much fun as I expected. I do hope I wasn’t quite as boring as that when I was immersed in the world of small children. Perhaps that's too unkind. It was good in parts.

Added later: Now found out that Rosamund Dashwood ran marathons when she was over sixty-five. In fact, she was a famous veteran runner and far from a wimp.


Anonymous said...

I've always wondered if Rosamund Dashwood was persuaded into writing her book and imitating her mother's style? I find things in The Provincial Lady to irritate me, especially in the later books, but the daughter is not a patch on the mother.

Susie Vereker said...

Thanks for visiting, Callmemadam.
Yes, Rosamund does say that she thinks it's appropriate to use her mother's style, but fortunately she becomes more sparing with the capitals as she goes on. Shall now have to try the mother, as you and others have suggested.

Nan said...

I tend to steer away from Trevor. Too sad for me. I'd like to try the Dashwood book simply because I love the Provincial Lady books so much. I suppose the capital letters is an homage to the Lady books? I love your words, "jolly hockey-sticks" - they make me smile.

Anonymous said...

Heartened to find somebody else disliked the Provincial Daughter, she's so heavy-handed compared with her mother ... but I think the Provincial Lady is only irritating if you take her in too large doses. A few pages at a time is good fun - it was meant as a weekly serial not to be read in one go.