Some Book News !

I have just read Maggie O’Farrell’s latest book This Must be the Place

It is not yet out in mass market paperback format, ( I picked up a trade paperback from the airport! ).  All I can say is do not miss it! It will be on the reading group list soon, so look out for it. Individual copies however are available from Warwickshire Libraries if you can’t wait.   One of the best books I have read for a long time.

It has been shortlisted for the Costa AwardBooks are my Bag Award, Saltire Society book of the year, and BGE Irish Book Award. Why it hasn’t won one of these I do not know. It really deserved to.

As with all Maggie O’Farrell’s books, it is extremely accessible, but that doesn’t make it any less worthy. It is all about relationships, and family life fractured in every way by separation in all it’s forms, and also by death. It wanders from year to year, decade to decade, not in numerical order, and focuses on each character turn by turn.

The writing style flows easily, being lyrical without excessive elaboration. It is poignant and heart-wrenchingly sad in places, but ends with optimism and a life affirming beat.

I have also just finished Louis de Bernieres latest book The Dust that Falls from Dreams.  This is a wonderfully epic tale of a family living through the First World War, and particularly it’s aftermath , with all it’s horror and devastation. It is not, however a gruesome tale, but written with a light poetic style, showing what a master-storyteller de Bernieres is. If you remember and loved Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, I urge you to read it.  It is now one of our new reading group sets, so do order it when available. You will not be disappointed.

Lastly, don’t forget to write a review of your group’s latest read. We’d love to hear your views. You can email it to me – jandawson@warwickshire.gov.uk

Happy Reading!