Happy July! I’ve mostly been researching the next book– about which I’m staying mum for the moment– so much of what I’ve been reading won’t appear here just yet. On the fiction front, though, I’ve stumbled upon a few new to me books and authors, including:
— Chris Cleave, Everyone Brave is Forgiven, a novel of World War II, set back and forth between blitzed London and Malta, following the fortunes of Mary, a socialite turned teacher, and Alistair, a restorer at the Tate turned soldier, as well as several side characters along the way. The prose was brilliant, clever and snarky and bright; the characterizations were beautiful; the subject matter… so very, very hard. But, then, it’s probably good to be reminded, so vividly, of just how awful it was.
— Austin Clarke, The Polished Hoe. More wonderfully written but tough reading. Post-colonial “Bimshire”, aka Barbados, in the 1940s, where, over the course of a night, a woman relates her history to the police constable and sergeant, providing a painting of the darker sides of island life.
Between the Blitz and the legacy of slavery, I felt the need for something light after that and took refuge in Trisha Ashley’s A Winter’s Tale, in which the impoverished heroine unexpectedly inherits the family stately home and must protect it against the schemes of her property developer cousin. Because who doesn’t love an unexpected inheritance and a good stately home?
What have you been reading recently?