Wednesday, 5 August 2009

July jungle and recent reading


Evening sun on garden jungle above. Please ignore weeds. I do at the moment.
Just finished The Behaviour of Moths by Poppy Adams, shortlisted for the Costa last year. Excellent, well written story narrated by an unreliable, mentally strange old woman who was an expert on moths. I didn't believe anyone could make this dry subject interesting, but the author does so in her tale of sibling rivalry, all set in Dorset in a virtually empty, isolated Victorian gothic mansion. As the narrator looks back on her dysfunctional family life - her sister has suddenly reappeared after 45 years away - there's no standard romance, very little sex, and, despite the flashbacks, no rock'n'roll, but do read it and tell me what you think. I'm not sure the novel even needed the melodramatic ending.
A good choice for a book club, though the squeamish may not care for some aspects of moth harvesting. In my childhood, it was fashionable to collect butterflies which did, I admit, involve asphixiating them with chloroform in a jam jar, but we didn't think anything of it at the time.
I'm sure I'll read this intelligent novel again one day, but I'll probably skip a little of the moth stuff next time, because I have a feeling I may have missed other nuances.

8 comments:

Karen said...

I thoroughly enjoyed the book, but I did skip over the moth stuff I'm afraid!

cheshire wife said...

I love gardens like yours. They have real character never mind the weeds!

Rattling On said...

Our garden is very lush at the moment- with weeds. They seem to grow before the eyes. From a distance, in a Monet kind of way, they look great.
The book sounds interesting. I would have taken the title to be some obscure allusion, not literal.

Jan Jones said...

I keep hoping if I leave my weeds long enough they'll metamorphose into swans (if you see what I mean)

Fia said...

Weeds? Can't see any and who is to say what is a weed and what is a flower?

This is my stock answer to my mother's disappointment with my gardening efforts.

You have a beautiful garden.

sablonneuse said...

There are far more weeds to ignore in my garden that in yours, if it's any consolation.
Butterflies suffer a sad fate in our garden if Willow or Holly catch them because they eat them.

Debs said...

Your garden looks beautiful. I can't see any weeds at all.

I saw this book when I was nosing around WHSmith at an airport recently and probably would have brought it if I had a milimetre of space left. (Already had six books and was carrying one, so couldn't really carry more).

Susie Vereker said...

Cheshire wife, you must be within reach of Coton if you want to visit a special garden. See my next post.
Thanks for visiting, friends.
Jan, funny thing is, my weeds don't metamorphose into swans. In fact have just rashly been digging out an entire clump of yellow loosestrife. Hope I don't run out of enthusiasm before it's too late.