Friday, 30 October 2009
Currently reading: Persephone No 77 - Daddy's Gone A-Hunting by Penelope Mortimer
Penelope Mortimer intrigues me: her six children by four different men, her extra-marital affairs, her breakdowns, her unhealthy marriage, her written fiction-based-on-fact, her chaos.
In Daddy's Gone A-Hunting, emotions simmer under the surface and things go unsaid. Ruth, the main character, needs to be given a good shake and told to "pull yourself together woman!"
"She was wondering, Ruth knew, why the girl didn't comb her hair or put on some decent clothes or stand straight or have a few manners. What would she think if she knew, if Ruth said, 'She's pregnant and we are just going to meet the father of her child at The Tea Kettle Inn to talk about finding money for an abortion.' What, standing there in her pearls and her leather jacket and her crocheted hat, would she do? For a moment, backing towards the door, she had an insane temptation to find out. She swallowed and blinked, shaking her face into an uncertain smile."
Thursday, 22 October 2009
Tuesday, 20 October 2009
Monday, 19 October 2009
Sunday, 18 October 2009
Sunday, 11 October 2009
Currently reading: Persephone No 2 - Mariana by Monica Dickens
"When Mary went downstairs, Denys was in the hall, finishing a drink. 'Can I have one?' asked Mary, to prolong the time in which they would be alone together. He ordered two cocktails and then they each had another, and by the time Mary pushed through the revolving doors into the street, she felt very light-hearted; and as if her cheek bones were higher than usual, and she must smile."
After seeing this book described as being a funny, readable, perceptive account of a girl, Mary, encountering life and love, I was really expecting to be engrossed by an enjoyable read but was disappointed. The ending had me gripped, as did the account of the 8 year old Mary getting herself home by tube from central London late at night, but the bulk of the book was just tedious. Mary did not come across as likeable so I didn't really care what happened to her.
Mary's mother's life as a widowed single parent, who "bluffed her way into the job of teaching dressmaking at a Domestic Science College" and by the end of the book is owner of a dress shop in South Molten Street, would have made a far more interesting tale!
Monday, 5 October 2009
Currently reading: One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson
".... and listened to the messages on the answering machine. There were so many now that the later ones had erased the earlier ones. Gloria thought this was how her own memory worked, except the opposite way round....... Pam fluttering, oh Gloria, can I have your recipe for Turkish cheesecake, I know I've written it down somewhere but I can't put my hands on it. It was a very good recipe - a packet of Philidelphia, a tin of Fussell's sterilized cream and half a dozen eggs beaten together and poured into a caramel-coated mould and cooked gently in a bain-marie. It was the kind of recipe a person treasured once they had been given it. Careless Pam would not be getting it off Gloria a second time."