What I read in March 2018
I made a concerted effort to switch off from aimlessly scrolling late through social media at night during March. I didn't always manage it but, when I did, I read books. Four of them in fact. So, I must have saved myself loads of of social media drifting.
First up was Maggie O'Farrell's This Must be the Place. It's about a married couple: Claudette and Daniel. They're living, happily enough, in the wilds of Ireland when Daniel hears something on the radio about a woman he used to know. This sends him and us, on a journey through his past as well as Claudette's. Maggie O'Farrell uses other characters to tell Claudette and Daniel's story, and we hop through time. A different approach, but one I thoroughly enjoyed.
On Twitter someone I follow had liked a tweet from a woman who'd been tutted at for reading on London transport. So she'd responded by reading the words out loud. I can't find the original tweet now, but the book she was reading was Our Spoons Came from Woolworths by Barbara Comyns. A slim book with a fascinating narrator I adored the style of writing. It was about Sophia. At twenty-one she married Charles, a young painter. She was an artist's model and we see her life, often in poverty, in 1930s bohemian London.
A slight change of pace and style was my next read with A Handful of Happiness by Massimo Vacchetta and Antonella Tomaselli. This tells the true story of veterinarian Massimo who rescues a tiny orphaned hedgehog called Ninna. One tiny little bundle, weighing not much more than a rosebud, changed his life. A gorgeous and heartwarming read I had this on my must-read list and had mentioned it in my newsletter. Then the publisher, Quercus, sent it to me in the post for which I'm incredibly grateful.
Then we have Letters to Iris by Elizabeth Noble. A story about Tess, whose life is about to be turned upside down by her recent personal news and the fact her grandmother, Iris, has to go into a home. Tess was incredibly close to her grandmother but now she doesn't recognise her. Whilst at the new home Tess meets Gigi. A woman who is going through a personal crisis of her own.
I loved each of these four books. Each one was a gripping yet cosy read with great characters. I recommend all of them.