Monday, 6 September 2010
To Kill a Mockingbird. A re-read of the famous Pulitzer prizewinning novel on the same subject, set in 1930, published in 1960. At first I hesitated with the Southern dialect, but soon became absorbed in this moving book. Gregory Peck starred in the film and kept coming into my head. Maybe I'll hire the DVD. How brave it was of Harper Lee to write the book at the time.
A Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore. Didn't get along with this one quite so well. The writing is brilliant, almost too showy, in that one is distracted from the story by the sparkling style. I liked the middle where the student heroine becomes part-time nanny to a beautiful mixed-race baby adopted by a white couple, but somehow I prefer a novel with more narrative drive. A coming of age story that many have others have praised, though, and it was short-listed for the Orange Prize. Just had a quick flick through the reviews - the critics seem to have admired it more than we ordinary readers do.