Friday, 16 January 2009

A good turn and life as a wife

Kate Atkinson's One Good Turn is a book I've only just caught up with and thoroughly enjoyed. A thriller cum mystery without too much overt violence, a character we have met before in Jackson Brodie and some lovely little twists and turns in the plot make this a really good read. The atmosphere of Edinburgh at Festival time is well done without overemphasis. The other characters are well drawn, especially Gloria, Julia and Louise Morgan - all seemed real enough people to me, and would recommend this read to anyone, but especially to those who read nothing but thrillers or murder stories. This is definitely on a higher plane than most of those. Must hastily order her next one , When Will There Be Good News, from my local library - I try not to buy too much fiction as the house is full enough of books already and I'm not now a great re-reader.

One writer I am tempted to re-read from time to time is Elisabeth Luard, especially her biographical-with-recipes books. I've not long finished her story of My Life as A Wife, :Love, Liquor and what to do about the Othet Women , a sort-of follow on to her book Family Life, although it is mainly concerned with how she came to marry Nicholas Luard, founder of Private Eye and the adventures that marriage led her through. I found that some of this book recalled instances in my own life, such as my mother's comment " I'm off to join your father ", who was working as a mining engineer in Ghana, almost as soon as I received my A-level results - the sort of that's life, now jolly well get on with it attitude.

However Elisabeth's life was very exciting to this outsider - working at Private Eye, even as secretary, marrying the boss, going to live in Spain with four young children, then France for a year just to ensure that the children spoke fluent French as well as fluent Spanish, and finally returning to Britain - all this sounds very dashing, and doubtless very hard work too. It also gives a view of life and attitudes in the '60's that seem much more care-free about how children are brought up than today .

No comments:

google tracker