Saturday, January 15, 2011

Crime, Punishment, and Reward

About a week ago, I finished reading The Lake of Dreams by Kim Edwards. It was a perfect January read. Even though I myself am not on holidays, everyone else seems to be and things are slower and more relaxed. I guess the phrase "holiday read" can therefore be applied. This book was about a woman in her late 20s who returns to the town of her childhood for a visit, after having lived away for her entire adult life. I loved the mood, the constant descriptions of water, and summer breezes. It also spoke to my experiences of coming "home" to something that isn't home anymore, but sort of is at the same time... and trying to figure out what is home and what is memory. The foil of finding old letters that reveal family secrets is beginning to get a bit tired for me but this wasn't too clunkily done; it was almost believable.

Although I was totally immersed in The Lake of Dreams, I found once I had finished it that it marked a further step in a long line of fiction reads, and I was more than ready for something tough and factual. So I dove right in and began reading The Case of The Pope, Geoffrey Robertson's examination of whether the Pope could be, or indeed ought to be, charged with crimes against humanity for the Catholic Church's child sex abuse scandal. I am about 10 pages from the end and it is tough going. He writes well and engagingly but the subject matter is horrific and upsetting and anger inducing. Additionally, some of the legal details are of necessity dense, but Robertson manages to keep them readable enough to persevere. As a result of reading this book my views on the Catholic Church have moved from indifference to anger. This is most definitely a book I think everyone should read. Nevertheless I am looking forward to my reward after the hard slog, which is a recently republished Nancy Mitford. Lovely, delicious, witty, fluffy delight awaits!