27 Mar 2011
READING IN BED.
READING IN BED by SUE GEE.
'People say that life is the thing, but I prefer reading.'
With so much at stake, even this old friendship comes under strain. As hatches are battened down, it takes all their loyalty and humour to recover the easy, confiding intimacy of the past.
....... From the outer back cover.
FIRST SENTENCE: There they go, two clever women of sixty, making their way through the wet towards the car.
MEMORABLE MOMENT: Each longs for the solace good books offer, but life is taking over from art, and Dido, with today's discovery, isn't sure if she'll find pleasure in reading, or anything else, ever again.
KEEP IT OR NOT?: A reading group read, keeping it is not an option, this will be going back for other groups to read and discuss. I won't be buying a copy of this but will probably look the author up at another time.
Left to my own devices despite a wonderful title - Reading In Bed (my favourite place to read) - and the promising blurb of the back cover, I'm not too sure I would have read this.
A very slow start, if I had been a reader with a '100 page rule' I would never have finished the book but as it was I carried on and was glad I did.
With several interesting plots, some of which, I'm sure most of us will identify with, and well observed characters, once again I'm sure most of us will know/know of someone just like them, this was an enjoyable, and in some ways, comfortable and familiar read.
I say in some ways a comfortable read as it was not all like this, two strands to the story being particularly harrowing, but that said it was a story all about relationships and as such was bound to have its 'ups and downs'.
"Was it chick-lit?" asked a friend. I wouldn't have described it as such, no, as, to me, it wasn't 'fluffy' enough and dealt with two very serious issues (if not in an overly deep way). "Aah, hard core chick-lit then." Not a term I've ever heard before but, yes, I suppose its one way of describing it.
My problem with the book then?
I just didn't like the authors style of writing. Grief another book without chapters, I hear you say. No, this wasn't my complaint this time ....... lack of speech marks was what really annoyed me. Confusing and just plain lazy(?) I really didn't like the lack of these and the authors use of a hyphen instead.
Also, though I'm no fan of collections of short stories, I think that perhaps given the number of strands to this book and the number of characters playing a major role, it may well have proved a more suitable (and, especially in the beginning, less confusing) format if each of the 'events' was dealt with as an independent story with the common theme of friendship, family and books running throughout.