Still Life by Sarah Winman is an undeniably pretty story, predominantly set in Florence, and focused around themes of art, love and luck.
The book has had tonnes of reviews, so I won’t recount the plot – all you need to know is that the story stretches from post-WWII to the seventies, and tracks the interwoven lives of a number of characters (including a blue and yellow Macaw named Claude).
Winman plays with perspective – simply in terms of individual characters; nuanced if you take the idea of the title and think about how we all see a fixed object in a different way, our history and experiences giving context; and lastly at a meta-level, with her riff on Forster’s A Room with a View. Continue reading
01. I’m devastated about the death of Olivia but thankful for her wonderful music – truly part of the soundtrack of my youth. A childhood watching Grease on loop with my cousins; modelling my outfit and hairstyle for my Yr 8 social on her Xanadu look; having her songs in pretty much every mixtape / playlist I’ve ever created; and picking her for the all important ‘last song of the night’ at my 50th. Particularly thankful for this gem that has surfaced (all my favourites in one place – imagine being there!): Continue reading
John Purcell’s The Lessons is a perfectly adequate novel about the entangled lives of a group of people, with enticing historical details, glamorous locations to set the scenes, and coming-of-age themes thrown in.
Told from various points-of-view and zig-zagging back and forth from the past to the present, the motivations and the deceits of each of the characters is slowly revealed. Continue reading
I went to a workshop last week about schema therapy and our attachment relationships. I am a bit obsessed with attachment theory because it pops up in so many ways for my clients (or does it pop up because I look for it?!). It’s particularly relevant in terms of adult relationships and how a person grieves. Anyway, that’s a long way of explaining that I selected Vivian Gornick’s memoir, Fierce Attachments, because of the title. How could I not?
The blurb states that Gornick ‘battled’ with her mother for independence.
My mother’s wishes are simple but they are not negotiable. Continue reading