Friday, 15 April 2011

Bex's Bookshelves: The hand that first held mine, by Maggie O'Farrell


Ju gave me this book for my birthday. I'm so used to reading high-falutin', "I am writer, see me write" novels (which I love) that at first I was a bit taken aback by the clear fluid prose and the relatively normal story about relatively normal people. I missed the larger than life, eccentric oddbods that inhabit the pages of the tomes I usually read, and found it hard to feel attached to the characters. I also found some aspects of the plot hard to swallow. But I did enjoy O'Farrell's ability to capture the normal. Even if I didn't feel much attachment to the characters I could understand them. And O'Farrell understands human nature and emotion and describes both in a way that rings true. Her depiction of motherhood was sometimes a little too true for comfort!

A couple of quotes:

"She considers getting a ruler or a wooden spoon and hooking out all these things [from under her sofa] - she would if she were properly interested in keeping a nice house. But she isn't. There are better things to do with your life. If only she could remember what they are."

"Elina has said she doesn't understand why people dress babies only in white and pastels. She loathes pastels, Ted knows: the diluted cousins of real colour, she calls them, claims they make her teeth ache."

1 comment:

  1. I've just read this and wish to apologise for getting it for you. I didn't like it at all - I would even venture to suggest that some parts of it are (whisper) a bit rubbish. I was taken in by the prizes and five star reviews and I really ought to know better by now. Must do better!

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