My book piles are collecting dust.. I have been too busy with work, family and crafty adventures to read much or even listen to.
I have finally finished 'History of the Rain' by Niall Williams. I have abandoned this book a couple of times because I found it difficult to concentrate. The typescript was quite small and I am trying not to use reading glasses. Maybe I should give in. Anyway, I decided to download the audio version of the book. It was so worth it! The narrator is Jennifer McGrath, a perfect choice for the Ruth, who is telling her own story and that of her family. Ruth is not well, she is suffering from an unspecified blood disorder, preventing her from leading a normal life. Here the Goodreads blurb (it captures the book better than I could):
"We are our stories. We tell them to stay alive or keep alive those who only live now in the telling. In Faha, County Clare, everyone is a long story.... Bedbound in her attic room beneath the falling rain, Plain Ruth Swain is in search of her father. To find him Ruthie must first trace the jutting jaw lines, narrow faces, and gleamy skin of the Swains from the restless Reverend Swain, her great-grandfather, to her father, Virgil - via pole-vaulting, leaping salmon, poetry and the 3,958 books piled high beneath the two skylights in her room."I was totally immersed in this book, I didn't want it to end. Ruth (Niall Williams) has a beautiful way with words. The narrator made the story come alive, her accent is beautiful. I don't know if it is that of County Clare but in any case, it is a most beautiful Irish accent, one of my favourite accents of the English language, in my top ten of accents in second place right after the accent of the Scottish Highlands.
Funny sometimes, audio is far superior, other times the written word is. There is no rule to it, it is just so.
I have also read 'The Girl in the Red Coat' by Kate Hamer. This book is about the disappearance of eight year old Carmel. She was abducted by what turns out a devoted/fanatic Christian who sees in Carmel something special. She is taken to the US where they live like itinerants, eventually finding their way into a Christian community engaged in faith healing. Meanwhile Carmels mother is is paralysed by feelings of guilt, loss and anger. The story is told by Carmel and her mother alternatively. The book is described as a page turner but I had to read it in smaller instalments. I was overcome by the enormity of what happened to this family, torn apart by divorce first, then by the disappearance of the only daughter. I feel haunted by Carmel's abductor, so much evil in the name of faith.
I have started reading 'A Year of Marvellous Ways' by Sarah Winman. I really enjoyed her first novel, 'When God was a Rabbit', which was the main reason for picking this second novel. So far I am loving it.
Finally I have dowloaded the Italian audio version of 'Pippi Longstocking' by Astrid Lindgren. I am determined to brush up on my Italian, which quite frankly is a bit rusty. I don't really have anyone to talk to. I am very familiar with Pippi Longstocking, which helps, even if I stumble over an expression I don't understand I can still follow. So far so fun! Astrid Lindgren is one of my all time favourite children's authors. I am not sure if children now still enjoy her story telling?
So, what are you reading or listening to? I don't often get to go to the library to browse, or a bookshop and any suggestions are appreciated. Have a lovely Wednesday. x