Rose Tremain and many more; catching up

I have read many books over the intervening period and shall try to list them shortly.  I do not feel any need to explain, what is a blog of lit crit without the lit to crit after all?  The fact of the matter is I entered a bit of a depressive decline before Christmas and am only now coming out of that....

But to try and recollect the books I buried myself in let's see (I shall probably miss one or two!)....

Robin Redbreast, Jo Nesbro

The Eye of the Leopard, by Henning Mankell

How I found her, Rose Tremain

The Third Person By Stephaine Newell and the subject of my next post (above)

 At least three dire internet downloads I should prefer not to mention (I must have been feeling highly masochistic!)

Dipping into Henry James "Ambassadors"

A little light Trollop with Phineas Redux

Apology for the Woman Writing by Jenny Diski

Something Blue by Monical Ali

Rose Tremain was reliably great in telling a compelling and involving story, all the more so for making her first person viewpoint that of a young boy on the cusp of adolescence, surely a great feat to pull of for a woman writing?  Then again I cannot help feeling I do not have to look to far for the point of reference which is the character Ms Tremain might identify with to place herself in the plot - and without giving too much away I shall say that this does NOT make her the boys mother, but DOES make the book all the more tragic.  I had for some strange reason entertained the idea this would be a work of erotic romance, and some might clain it is all the same, but the plot has rather a literal twist from the title and not what I imagine at all (I had expected something more along the lines of "She's Come Undone" by Wally Lamb.

I can easily be challenged by historical novels, they seem to lend themselves to an overly romantic tone, naturally enough I suppose.  The Diski work introduced me to the work of Montaigne with a clever twist which it seems has some basis for being a historical curiosity and not simply a contrived fiction.  It was not the greatest read, but it did engage me and was interesting for giving a sideways glance at French Literature.

I was most heartened, almost amazed though, by the "Third Person" work, the reading was every bit as pleasurable as any paid work, yet this was an entirely free download from Smashwords.  Albeit a sad tale being one which is slowly revealed as involving the abuse of a young girl, it is told with great insight form the point of view of her older sister, who actually pines for the abuser in a pre-pubescent way.  This allows the author to use the third person device to great effect, it is a great tale of a sibling relationship.  I intend to make every effort to contact the author and thank her for allowing free access to commendable work (and if you read the next post you'll see how that turned out!).

I wish Smashwords had an optional "donate" button where you could pay what you think it is worth for something you have read, in fact I really should suggest that (cannot believe it if this has not already been tossed around).... nothing like doing it now - so off to the Smashwords site to see... Nope - nothing doing, though an email to them is likely in order.  I shall try and write one and file a copy under my next post!