I’m trying to keep the library pile down. But I keep finding wonderful books. So what can I do? Here’s this week’s loot:
The Unspoken Truth by Angelica Garnett
“Real life and fiction meet as Angelica Garnett vividly evokes what it is to grow up in the shadow of artists. Her family appear in different guises in the stories, but at the centre of each one is Garnett herself. She is naive and foolish as Bettina, desperately seeking acceptance into the grown-ups circle (“When All the Leaves Were Green, My Love”); shy and cautious, but finally disloyal, as Agnes (“Aurore”); a hesitant, uncomfortable Emily (“The Birthday Party”); and a contemplative, even witty older woman, full of appetite and guilt, as Helen (“Friendship”). Spanning an entire life, each story reveals a figure trying to understand her place not only within the polished circle of her family, but in an ever-changing world. Sharply observing a colourful social milieu and the vibrant characters that populate it, these are stories about family and friendships, yet also curdled relationships and small betrayals. A fictional counterpoint to her acclaimed memoir, “Deceived with Kindness”, here is a portrait of a woman seeking an understanding and acceptance of her past.”
It was on the wishlist, it appeared and so it came home!
Love In The Sun by Leo Walmsley
One for my Read Cornwall campaign. Leo Walmsley was a Yorkshireman, but he lived in Cornwall for a number of years. he was a contemporary of Daphne Du Maurier, and here’s what she wrote about this book.
“”Love In The Sun” will make other writers feel ashamed. And, curiously enough, old-fashioned too. It is a revelation in the art of writing, and may be one of the pioneers of the new renaissance in the world of novels, a renaissance which shall and must take place in our time if the novel is to survive at all. While we struggle to produce our complicated plots, all sex and psychology, fondly imagining we are drawing modern life while really we are as demode as jazz and mah-jong. Leo Walmsley gives the weary reader a true story, classic in its simplicity of a man and a girl who possessed nothing in life but love for each other and faith in the future, and because of these things, were courageous and happy.
They converted an old army hut for their home, they made a garden, they grew vegetables, they used driftwood for their fire in winter, they caught mackerel for their food in summer, the sea and the soil sustained them during the long months so that the man could write his book and the girl could have her baby; and when both were accomplished life continued as before, the garden was trenched, the fishing lines were baited, fame and fortune had passed them by, but hope, and courage, and love were with them still. When we come to the end of the story, we know that the man will write other books, the girl will have other babies, flowers will continue to grow in their garden, they will go on living and loving, and creating thins because, like the plants in the soil they are the very stuff of life itself.
Yes, Leo Walmsley has filled me with shame. Our cheap artificial plots, distorting human nature to make it suit the jaded palate, must go on the scrap-heap. We are not worthy to be called writers if we cannot do what he has done in “Love In The Sun”, and show the novel-reading public that the simple thins of life are the only thins that matter, and that a man’s work, and his wife, and his baby, and his plot of earth, are more important than the drama and passion of the whole world, and that the world itself is not, and never has been the merciless vortex that so many of us make it out to be, but is and always will be a place of supreme adventure.”
So what do you make of that? Can you see why I had to bring it home?!
And that’s not all …
The Missing by Jane Casey
“Jenny Shepherd is twelve years old and missing…Her teacher, Sarah Finch, knows better than most that the chances of finding her alive are diminishing with every day she is gone. As a little girl her older brother had gone out to play one day and never returned. The strain of never knowing what has happened to Charlie had ripped Sarah’s family apart. Now in her early twenties, she is back living at home, trapped with a mother who drinks too much and keeps her brother’s bedroom as a shrine to his memory. Then, horrifically, it is Sarah who finds Jenny’s body, beaten and abandoned in the woods near her home. As she’s drawn into the police investigation and the heart of a media storm, Sarah’s presence arouses suspicion too. But it not just the police who are watching her…”
For the second week in a row Sophie Hannah made me bring a book home. Here’s what she said about this one:
“Compulsive, menacing and moving – a very satisfying psychological thriller.”
Martha, Eric and George by Margery Sharp
I can’t say too much about this one. It’s the third book in a wonderful trilogy, and if I told you anything it would give away significant details about the book that preceded it. And I was very careful not say too much when I wrote about that book here.
What I will say is that Margery Sharp is a wonderful issue and it is appalling that only one of her books is in print.
Will somebody please reissue a few more?!
And there is a wonderful site, devoted to Margery Sharp here.
Have you read any of these? What did you think? Which book should I go for next? And which are you curious to know more about?
And what did you find in the library this week?
Eva is in charge of Library Loot this week. And she has a wonderful selection of books that you really should see.