Let’s just say my pre-holiday reading was much better than my actual holiday reading.
I’ve read some of Irene Nemirovsky’s writing before, but it’s been a while. I really enjoyed ‘The Dogs & The Wolves’. Nemirovsky is not afraid to turn her lens on her own people, or to criticise snobbery. The story itself has the quality of a fairy tale, with skips of several years in places, and the sense of painting a succession of pictures that give insight into the characters’ lives. A book that is deceptively easy to read, but worth thinking over.
Having read ‘The Secret Place’ last year (also on holidays), I was looking forward to some renewed suspense with ‘Faithful Place’ by Tana French. Now, I do like the fact that she writes not as a series, but that the same characters do pop in more than one book. I guess a book where a girl disappeared twenty years ago is never going to have a happy outcome, but even less so when it’s set in amidst poverty, alcoholism and domestic abuse. There’s suspense but it’s all very depressing.
Finally, I was disappointed in ‘How to Build a Girl’. I was a big fan of ‘How to Be a Woman’ and I quite admire Caitlin Moran’s no-nonsense brand of feminism. However, I was underwhelmed, and to be honest, rather bored by ‘How to Build a Girl’. It consists of little more than the protagonist masturbating/having sex or getting drunk, and just didn’t really appeal to me. There was the saving grace of a lovely page on the dangers of cynicism. Think I’ll be sticking to Caitlin’s non-fiction writings.