I was really pleased when this book turned up from the library headquarters, as an apparently un-issued green Virago with this intriguing cover. The book fulfilled my expectations of the books by Mortimer that I have encountered so far, in that the enjoyment of the book was as much about the writing itself, as about the plot and about the characters. The book follows the story of Muriel, who is on a trip with a group of journalists to Canada. Muriel had a masectomy shortly before the book begins, which had a profound influence on her, and her relationships, and in part the book is about her coming to terms with this. But it is also about her developing new relationships - she is surprised that there are no shortage of men with interest in her - and deciding what it is she wants from life. What I loved most about this book is that Muriel is a prolific writer in her notebook - jottings about herself, observations, and other pieces of writing, and Mortimer weaves all of these into the narrative. I was a little disappointed by how it ended, it seemed inconclusive, but perhaps we were supposed to be left wondering how the trip had changed her, and how her life back at home in London would pan out.
I followed reading this last night with a race through Quite Honestly, by her former husband John Mortimer. I will be interested to see what my boyfriend makes of this, as we don't tend to like the same books. I enjoyed it immensely; in brief it is the story of Lucy who is employed to be a mentor and advisor to the ex-convict Terry. It has a simple plot - will Lucy be able to reform Terry - but it is told well, with plenty of comic incident, and chapters alternate between Terry and Lucy's point of view.
I've got Deidre Madden's Authenticity with me today. It is the story of 3 artists, so I will be interested to read that after enjoying An equal stillness. I didn't manage a quiet evening yesterday, as there were far too many jobs to do, but I'm really intending to make sure that it happens today. I am overwhelmed with books at work (carrying them around, trying to persuade students to bring them back), and looking at my tbrbc also overwhelmed me last night so I am actually feeling quite relieved about my decision not to buy any more books for a while! In the meantime, I'm thinking about buying some new shoes for the brunch, which is his the day after the wedding I bought the cardigan for, particularly as they are now nearly half price...
(And in case you're wondering, no, I still haven't got my car back).
Mavis Gallant’s “A Recollection” (1983)
23 hours ago