I'm a GoodReads user testing new waters after the serious website changes. I mostly read fiction, usually Anglophone classics/ modern classics; I like nonfiction (mostly social and cultural history), good fantasy and graphic novels. For guilty pleasure, I read advice and how-to books. I made at least two reading resolutions recently; 1. read less, live more; 2. read books which give me more pleasure. I have poor filters, and books I find stylistically pleasing tend to be depressing, so I need to do something about that; if you think you know a book that is very well written, but won't make me weep, please drop me a line.

A Month in the Country

A Month in the Country - Michael Holroyd, J.L. Carr A four-star book which has afforded me five-star reading pleasure: a very simple, very well written story with an ending which feels real.

It is a very low-key novel about what can make a shattered person reasonably whole again. Here, Tom Birkin, an ex-soldier 'pushed ... through the mincer' of WW I and a man whose marriage has gone very, very bad returns to life day after day thanks to simple things, such as work well done, companionship, and a sense of belonging to a community. Even falling in love is no grand affair - it is a silent summer crush, yet an unlikely one. The very fact that Tom is capable of something as simple as a summer crush is miraculous; the woman he falls in love with is splendid and surprising in her beauty.

There are more surprises - a shameful family secret; a painful private secret; the wall painting Tom gradually restores in a provincial church. But in the end the miracle, the resurrection, as Michael Holroyd calls it in the introduction to the book - itself a gem - is that Tom is capable of resuming his life.

Currently reading

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