Wednesday, 21 July 2010

A pattern in the carpet (Drabble)

I discovered the author Margaret Drabble last year, and I've written about her before on this blog. I recently came across her memoir, A pattern in the carpet at the library, and like the rest of her books, it was beautifully written and an absolute pleasure to read.

As much as it is a memoir of Drabble's life and her family members, it is also a book about jigsaws and games. Jigsaws are something that I find extremely relaxing because they require so much patience. It's been at least three years since I've done a jigsaw but it would be lovely to get one out again. Drabble used jigsaws to help create order out of chaos whislt suffering from depression and the jigsaw theme provides a framework for the book, blending history of games with memoir extremely successfully. Some reviewers have quibbled with the way that the book reads like a stream of consciousness, but this seemed to me to go with the jigsaw concept - it is only at the end that it all starts to fit together. I loved reading about Drabble's Auntie Phyl, one of the principle characters in the story, and about her childhood growing up in Yorkshire, and I loved the way that it was interleaved with writing about games and jigsaws.

Apparently Drabble's family are also described in her book The peppered moth, which is one of her works which I have not yet read, so I will definitely be on the look out for that now. And I'm thinking that jigsaw doing might be another thing that I should do in the near future.


  1. This sounds interesting. I think, however, that The Peppered Moth is my least favorite Drabble so far.

  2. "Drabble used jigsaws to help create order out of chaos" that is exactly what I like about jigsaws.

  3. I think that Drabble is a really excellent writer


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