Another slow reading month, however, this has been my busiest month since February.
Pure by Andrew Millar
Inferno by Dan Brown
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
“This is a coming of age story that so fits my own; I completely understand that feeling of being just on the edge of understanding, of never feeling intelligent enough – somehow missing what everyone else understands. Cassandra epitomizes falling in love when young – to desperately desire that person to love you equally; to fantasise and know the fantasy will never come true – even if just because you fantasised about it. When Neil and Simon, the American owners of Cassandra’s castle home, visited, you sensed the complete bafflement and arousement of change in the air. I felt as if I too fell in love with befuddled Simon, and so felt for Stephen – more adult than anyone ever gave him credit for. I Capture the Castle, for me, was a journey of love in all its guises; its depiction of how selfish we are in love, and the selfish things we do for it, was beautiful. Apart from Mortmain, the eccentric genius, each character acted selfishly and irrationally in regards to their love for one another (Mortmain is selfish in general, regardless of love.)”
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
Another novel as relevant now as it was on publication; darker than I Capture the Castle and more poignant in its stark depiction of a young girl’s reality. As with other novels I have loved, I tried to read The Bell Jar a few years ago and failed through lack of understanding. Now, I completely understand the suffocation Esther feels mentally and socially trapped beneath the bell jar, a metaphorical representation of the Patriarchy. This novel, so progressive for the time in which it was written, discusses mental health, depression and women’s rights in a frank and unabashed manner, voicing the thoughts I am certain countless women shared.
Pepperland by Barry Wightman
“Although Pepper is our protagonist, I found the character of Sooz more intriguing. An interesting, but on occasion annoying, character, when we first meet Sooz she is a typical young activist, angry at what is going on in the world without understanding, or wanting to understand, how it happens. This attitude eventually gets her into trouble from which Pepper must eventually rescue her, however, it is her research and ideas which ultimately assist him. Sooz feels like a valid and insightful reflection of how determined, intelligent young individuals can often make big mistakes while trying to fight ‘The Man’.”
What have you been reading?