Had a quiet evening in last night, and finally got to read the follow up to Edna O'Brien's The country girls which is The girl with green eyes. This was a lovely book I thought, even if it wasn't hugely memorable. It's another coming of age story, following on from the previous book, and tells the story of Caithleen who defies convention and has an affair with an older married man. Reviewers on Amazon have criticised it for being dreary and bland and boring, but I found myself gripped as to whether or not their relationship would work out, and by reading about life in Dublin in the 1950s/1960s.
I'm really keen to get on and read the final volume in the trilogy, but I have a rule where I don't read two books by the same author consecutively. It's frustrating at times like this, but I find I don't get as much out of them as I might if I read them after a break (there is a danger that I will then get less if they follow behind something really good). It's nice to have a gripping trilogy though as it's often frustrating to get to the end of a book and want to know more... It reminds me of Lynne Reid Banks L-Shaped Room trilogy, which was just brilliant in terms of character and plot development and sucking you in. As a child I was always gripped by series; Enid Blyton, Arthur Ransome etc, and loved following similar characters through different plot lines. But it's unusual (correct me please!) to find good literary series/sets for adults.
Anyway, I've enjoyed these two of Edna O'Brien, and she's written a lot more. I see that our public library has a lot more of hers in the on-site store so I can get them without reservation charge, although I recall picking up one in the Oxfam bookshop back in April.
In other news...
* I treated myself to a few book reservations at the library (85p each so a bit cheaper than even a 1p book on Amazon)(I now tend to only reserve the books that cost more than 1p!). I'm interested in reading more by Deidre Madden since I loved Molly Fox's Birthday, on the orange list, and then enjoyed reading Remembering Light and Stone. Having enjoyed the Pumpkin Eater by Penelope Mortimer, I've also requested from the support stacks the book which I was originally looking for by her, called My friend says it's bullet proof. An intriguing title if ever there was one.
* One of the most useful hospital appointments I've had this morning; the doctor I saw last time had run out of ideas so I actually got to see the consultant, who has given me a new diagnosis of "chronic abdominal pain syndrome", a bit like chronic fatigue of the stomach. It doesn't move us any nearer to addressing my pain and moving my life beyond worrying about what to eat and perpetually lying on the sofa, but at least it actually makes sense, unlike IBS or any of the other things I've been palmed off with. It looks like I'm going to have to try an exclusion diet, but probably not dairy, so ice cream is still ok! At least I've got that spelt rhubarb cake recipe to try!!
* I have bought (or at least ordered) another cardigan for the wedding we're going to in July. I haven't been able to find a suitable outfit, even with the inducement of my boyfriend offering to buy me something, so I'm going to wear my "wedding skirt" (that has been worn to several weddings), with a new top and this lovely cardigan. Irresistable to cardigan girl!! I've been trying on a fascinator and some pink shoes, but need to have a look at them with the top.
* Started reading A particular place by Mary Hocking this am whilst waiting at the hospital, the book that I was attracted to because it was supposed to be like Barbara Pym. It isn't quite, and I'm unsure how much I'm enjoying it, or maybe that was because I was unable to concentrate properly. I shall finish it tonight I hope.
Mavis Gallant’s “Madeline’s Bithday” (1951)
5 hours ago