Lighthousekeeping

Lighthousekeeping

How did I get it?:
I bought it at Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights!

Synopsis:

The young orphan Silver is taken in by the ancient lighthousekeeper Mr. Pew, who reveals to her a world of myth and mystery through the art of storytelling. A magical, lyrical tale from one of Britain’s best-loved literary novelists. Pew tells Silver ancient tales of longing and rootlessness, of the slippages that occur throughout every life. One life, Babel Dark’s, a nineteenth century clergyman, opens like a map that Silver must follow, and the intertwining of myth and reality, of storytelling and experience, lead her through her own particular darkness. Stevenson and of the Jekyll and Hyde in all of us, Lighthousekeeping is a way into the most secret recesses of our own hearts and minds. Jeanette Winterson is one of the most extraordinary and original writers of her generation, and this shows her at her lyrical best.

Thoughts:

I was recommended this book at a reading spa and I thought I’d give it a go. I’m not always the biggest fan of literary fiction, but I had heard Jeanette Winterson’s writing was absolutely beautiful. It certainly is. It is lyrical.

This book centres around two main narratives, both set in Scotland. It centres around a lighthouse, a Victorian priest names Babel Dark and Silver, who was orphaned in 1969.

Silver as a narrator is immediately engaging. The opening chapters tells the story of Silver and her mother, who live outside the village on a hill. Their house slopes and furniture has to be nailed to the floor, the dog has shorter back legs than the front. It’s all very vividly described. An accident leaves Silver an orphan and she goes to live with Pew, a blind lighthousekeeper. Pew tells stories and Silver weaves his stories into the ones that she is telling. Historical figures pop up in a real mix of fact and fiction.

This book is unique because it has such a mix of magical, comedy and philosophy. It really wasn’t what I expected but I enjoyed it nevertheless and can’t deny that Jeanette Winterson’s writing is beautiful.

Would I recommend it?:
Yes!

Such lyrical writing, it may not be for everyone but it’s worth taking a look at to sample the writing!

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My Name Is Lucy Barton

My Name is Lucy Barton

How did I get it?:
I bought it at Mr B’s Emporium!

Synopsis:

Lucy Barton is recovering slowly from what should have been a simple operation. Her mother, to whom she hasn’t spoken for many years, comes to see her. Gentle gossip about people from Lucy’s childhood in Amgash, Illinois, seems to reconnect them, but just below the surface lie the tension and longing that have informed every aspect of Lucy’s life: her escape from her troubled family, her desire to become a writer, her marriage, her love for her two daughters. Knitting this powerful narrative together is the brilliant storytelling voice of Lucy herself: keenly observant, deeply human, and truly unforgettable.

Thoughts:

This short book was recommended at my reading spa in August this year. It was really sold well as an incredibly well written piece of literary fiction. I have to say, it is beautifully written. I don’t often get on with literary fiction, but I felt like I flew through this book.

It starts with Lucy who recalls a time when she was is in hospital recovering from an illness. She was in hospital for a few weeks and was visited by her mother. She was never close with her mother, but this visit gave Lucy the opportunity to catch up with her mum. That’s all there really is to the story, yet it is a wonderfully thought out piece of literature! It feels like a gentle read, but it does include some tough subjects like poverty and neglect. It is through the conversations that we find out what Lucy’s childhood was like and how her life has been a bit of a bumpy road.

I really felt like I was sat in the room, listening to the conversation between Lucy and her mother. Some of the conversation was incredibly deep and thought-provoking. I loved reading about their conversations. There were some witty conversations which were really a pleasure to read. It felt like I was listening to people I knew chatter away. Every I always felt like there was something Lucy was holding back. It is clear that Lucy has had a troubled life with a very difficult background

I did enjoy reading this book, but I felt like there was something missing. I wanted there to be more to the story, but I do often find this is the way I feel with most literary fiction! I do highly recommend Elizabeth’s Strout’s writing. It’s beautiful.

Would I recommend it?:
Yes!

This book is full of stunning, profound writing!