The Girl Booker

The Girl Booker

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Publishing Event Of The Year

The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides was a very difficult title for me to remember, mostly because the reading copy was covered in the phrase "The Publishing Event of the Year", so that is what Tallboy and I have been calling it. I loved this book so much that I want to use swear words for emphasis, but since this blog is pink it somehow feels wrong. For several years now, I've had people tell me on and off that I should read Middlesex, also by Eugenides. I finally understand what all the fuss is about; Eugenides is a fantastic, rave-worthy author. The Marriage Plot is one of those books that is so vibrant that it feels like a conversation with a live person when you're reading it.

The three central characters each had a huge bagful of flaws but I nevertheless loved each of them and wanted them to live happily ever after. Since they were caught up in a love triangle, this didn't seem likely but I still desperately wanted it to happen. I think this little nugget is the key to the book's success; at least for me.

I read Rip Tide by Stella Rimmington in a day. Not because I was compelled to, but because I was able to. It was ok: a bit slow to start then quite entertaining but nothing amazing. I guess that's why I don't tend to read crime much.

A Discovery of Witches: what a discovery this was! Deborah Harkness has written a book so fabulous and gripping and well-written that I am looking into getting hold of her previous work, which happens to be academic non-fiction. She is a great storyteller, and has managed to write an intelligent novel about witches and vampires. Not being a big fantasy or paranormal reader, I am small-mindedly assuming that this is unusual for the genre.

I like to read out of my comfort zone from time to time, and when I do, I usually end up enjoying what I've read in a lukewarm sort of way (see Stella Rimington above). A Discovery Of Witches, however, is going straight to my wild-eyed, breathless, "I LOVED it!!!!" department. Unfortunately for the people close to me, I will be ranting and raving about A Discovery... for weeks.

Because Harkness is actually an historian, it is an excellent read for anyone interested in history who is after a good piece of entertaining fiction. Despite her obvious knowledge, she doesn't overdo it; the historical detail isn't pushy or gratuitous. To sum up, I evny anyone who has the experience of this book before them!

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