June 15, 2012

Book Reviews: The Thirteenth Tale & The Weird Sisters

The Thirteenth TaleThe Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It was November. Although it was not yet late, the sky was dark when I turned into Laundress Passage.

I can't explain it but from these opening words, I was hooked. I devoured this book in a mere few hours (spread over a couple of days) and wanted it to run longer.

There are a few problems with the writing, the speech of the characters is a little stilted in areas and some of the emotions attached to the book are assumptive of the readers own, previously experienced, emotions. Luckily, having a sister, it wasn't too hard to imagine what the sisters in this book were dealing with. Sisters can be annoying but you wouldn't want to be without them.

I read a couple of reviews of this book before I finished. One guy wrote that he had listened to the book on a drive with his wife and that he had hated it. Margaret, the main character, he writes, was "continuously fainting". What book he was reading though, I cannot say, as this is in no way ye olde bodice ripper.

If you are looking for a story that is just a story, without swearing, without violence, without having that dirty taste left in your mouth, then this is for you. It is nice to read a nice book even if you can guess the end.

The Weird SistersThe Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There is no problem a library can't solve.

This is so true!

The first thing I do when moving somewhere new is seek out the local library, make sure I have the relevant paperwork and get myself a library card.

I have to say I loved this book. It is by no means life changing but it will burrow itself into your heart and never leave. At least that is my hope.

Of all the three sisters, I could identify with each of them in some way. Rose, the oldest, who had to look after everyone. Bean, the middle child who moved away to the big city but comes home (don't read to much into that) and Cordie, the baby, who just wants to roam and explore without staying anywhere to long.

This book doesn't fall into the old tried and true traps that can be the downfall of some books. And regardless of some reviews, writing they couldn't follow the story because of the anonymous narrator, it is not difficult. The narrator is by no means anonymous. The story is told by all three of them. I found it easy to imagine all three of them, in maybe their 60s, gathered around a kitchen table, cups of tea or coffee near elbows, as they, together, wrote the story of their home comings and leavings and their mothers illness.

This book is beautiful. You should read it.

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