Friday, 9 April 2010

Film, books, TV and, yes, the garden

Enjoyed the film, An Education.  A clever young schoolgirl learns more than she bargains for from an attractive older man who turns out to be even dodgier than she thinks.  Set in the early sixties, with good atmosphere. Kind of a comedy, but more of a cautionary tale. 'Jenny' is so anxious to escape from suburbia that she goes along with his wiles. Excellent, convincing acting all round.  The film was based on a memoir by the journalist Lynn Barber, whose unsophisticated parents must have been charmed and even more conned by the chap than their daughter. By the way, it's clear she went to a school (Lady Eleanor Holles, Hampton) that expected more from girls than most did in those days. Here's an interview with LBarber, but don't read it before you have seen the film.

Recent Reading
The Colour by Rose Tremain.  'In the mid 1800s Joseph and Harriet Blackstone emigrate from Norfolk to New Zealand in search of new beginnings and prosperity. But the harsh land near Christchurch where they settle threatens to destroy them almost before they begin. When the unpleasant Joseph finds gold in the creek he is seized by a secretive obsession with the supposed riches awaiting him deep in the earth. Abandoning his farm and family, he sets off alone for the new gold-fields over the Southern Alps, a moral wilderness where many others are violently rushing to their destinies.' Eventually Harriet attempts to find him and we learn why Joseph was so keen to leave England in the first place.
I thought this was a terrific novel, do read it. Must now look out for more books by Rose Tremain.

Astonishing Splashes of Colour by Clare Morrall is a first novel told from the unreliable viewpoint of an unhinged young woman. Kitty has lost a baby and hasn’t recovered her mental balance. She’s sympathetic and I found it an interesting read.

I’m probably the only person in the world who isn’t crazy about Isabel Dalhousie and The Sunday Philosophy Club. Alexander McCall Smith’s writing is charming as ever, but I never quite believe in Isabel as she sounds so old and fusty for her age. And I was annoyed by her actions in visiting a bereaved mother in such a tactless and intrusive manner.

I love Edinburgh, but wasn't convinced by the storyline of Doors Open by Ian Rankin, so put it down.  Perhaps it just isn't my thing. Don't suppose he will mind.

Enjoyed a nostalgic wallow with Frank Sinatra last week on TV.  And we all roared with laughter at Outnumbered last night. Those children are so scarily real and hilarious.

Delighted that Spring has sprung at last. I keep pottering round the garden seeing what has survived the winter, still have fingers crossed about one or two shrubs and not sure about the 'hardy' dahlia yet.


Debs said...

My daughter bought me An Education for Mothers' Day and I loved it.

I've received my copy of Tropical Connections and am looking forward to reading it. Love the colourful cover.

sablonneuse said...

Our Spring still hasn't decided whether or not it's staying. After over a week of solid rain and enough wind to blow the greenhouse over we are just beginning to have some sun with chilly breezes.

Ms Mac said...

I loved An Education. I was cool about Astonishing Splashes of Colour- to me I didn't feel as though the synaesthesia was integral to the plot, a bit of a gimmick really. I liked Doors Open but I admit, I thought the characters weren't nearly as interesting as either John Rebus or Rankin's new fella, Malcolm Fox.

LindyLouMac said...

Susie, once again you are giving me more books and films to add to lists!

By the way I am going to do that link I promised, just not got around to doing so yet, sorry for the delay.

JJ Beattie said...

Yep, I loved An Education too.

I'm glad to hear that Spring has made an appearance.

serenknitity said...

'An Education' was lovely - and my 13 year old said it made her decide she liked French and should study more - result!

As for Rose Tremain - wow, what a novelist. I read 'The Road Home' with book group and loved it. Then downloaded 'Restoration' with Audible - I could hardly wait to get to the gym every day for a good listen - another result! There is a film of 'Restoration' which differs from the book but is still excellent, and sumptuously shot, I'm assured (I haven't seen it yet).

Love the blog btw, always something of interest.

Susie Vereker said...

Thanks for all your great comments.
Yes, I loved Rose Tremain's The Road Home too.