01. My baby who’s been away the longest returned home this week. He spent five months in Europe – his favourite places were Montenegro (which is where the pic above was taken), Lapland (below), and the city of Brussels. Continue reading
It’s been years – no, decades – since I read any Virginia Woolf. And I’d be hard pushed to say what of hers I’ve read, apart from A Room of One’s Own (and when it’s so long ago, I’m not sure it counts).
01. One of my babies is back home after six weeks in Nepal. He made it to 5033m and honestly, it blows my mind thinking that the mountains were thousands of metres higher still (he did say it was weird to have trekked so high, only to be able to look up and still be surrounded by peaks). Continue reading
I’m certain there’s no shortage of books that examine the intricacies of a friendship over decades. Friendships can be tested at various junctures in a person’s life, particularly when people choose partners, become parents, experience successes or failures, or if there is significant financial inequity. The challenge in writing a novel about such events and the impact of these on the friendship, is that the compressed timeline can render events overly dramatic.
Another danger in the friendship story is that it becomes one-sided. Invariably, one friend has all the luck while the other has only misfortune.
Somehow Nina Stibbe sidesteps the pitfalls, and in One Day I Shall Astonish the World she has created an authentic story that captures the see-sawing of Susan and Norma’s friendship over many decades. Continue reading
Things that are truly innocent don’t need to be labelled as such.
I haven’t read a real page-turner for ages. My reading tends to be immersive in a different way – getting lost in lovely sentences, pausing to consider what I’ve read. Zoë Heller’s Notes on a Scandal (also titled What Was She Thinking?) changed the routine. I raced through it, keen to see what happened to the (quite frankly) horrible characters. Continue reading