February is a month made for reading, if you ask me. March, less so. With the turn of the season, I’m finding the urge to stay home with a book less and less strong. I want to be out and about, in the fresh air! Looking out for lambs, and blossom, and being followed down country lanes by chirping robins! It’s all very Famous Five, I know.
February’s short, dreary days, weekend days especially, lend themselves to hours and hours of page-turning. Which is probably good, since The Goldfinch has plenty of pages to turn! I finished off Rivers of London not long after mentioning it in my last ‘What I’m reading/Book of the month’ type post, and picked up a couple of new books to read straight away afterwards. The Bee was a recommendation from my lovely friend Kathryn (I’m yet to get started on that one, though Jason’s making headway with it and has pronounced it ‘odd but good!’, and The Goldfinch came up over and over again in the comments of last month’s post!
I’m almost halfway through The Goldfinch now (we’ve not long arrived in Las Vegas, for those who’ve read and understand!) and am finding it such an interesting one to read. Plot-wise, it is pretty slow to progress. It’s full of the most incredibly detailed and vivid sensory descriptions, and at times it almost feels like Donna Tartt is writing merely for the love of her art form. There’s a section near the beginning of the novel that seemed to last an eternity, in which the main character is experiencing a major concussion. I was torn between desperately wanting the story to move forward, and also enjoying how skilfully Tartt has her writing become as fragmented and woozy as the character’s train of thought. Strangely, even though I’m not finding the plot particularly gripping, there’s something compelling about the novel. It’s impossible not to feel pangs of sadness and affection for the lonely figure of Theo, and even an urge to dive in and protect him as he deals with the death of his mother. I’ve found it heart-wrenching at times, even though it’s not written in a particularly emotion-provoking way.
Interestingly though, my Mum and her (fellow English Lit teacher) bookclub friends all absolutely loathed it! I think maybe it’s one of those Marmite books! I can’t say I’m surprised though, since my Mum and I so rarely see eye to eye on books- I think she almost disowned me when I expressed a total dislike of every Jane Austen novel I’ve ever read! ;)
Tell me, what’re you reading at the moment? Are you enjoying it? As with last month’s post, I’d love to pass on my most recently finished read, Rivers of London! I’ll pop it in the post to the first person who shouts in the comments :) It’s a great read, kind of silly and ridiculous but totally enjoyable! (I can only post within the UK, I’m afraid!)