Hello all, my apologies for being a bit quiet of late. I have just got back from holiday in Ireland (so many amazing photos! – coming soon), so I am rather behind on things. In fact I have read three books in the last couple of weeks and need to write about all of them! They were:
The Rules of Inheritance by Claire Bidwell Smith
I’d heard a fair bit about this before reading and though I knew it wasn’t going to be the happiest of books, I expected to enjoy it as well as finding it very interesting. Luckily my expectations were correct on both fronts. Bidwell Smith is natural writer with a flowing and comforting style that was easy to get lost in. Her story is sad (losing both her parents to cancer before her mid twenties) and there were times when I welled up, but this is in no way a depressing story. It is one of surviving grief and depression (though she never calls it the latter, as a sufferer I recognised the signs), and is ultimately uplifting and redemptive.
The Fortune Hunter by Daisy Goodwin
I was sent this in the same parcel from Headline as The Rules of Inheritance – the perfect example of two very different books appealing to the same person. While I love memoirs and psychology, I also love historical novels. Bay Middleton is the ‘best rider in England’, and Charlotte Baird is a young photographer who is the object of his affections. When Sisi, Empress Austria, comes to England to hunt, Bay is assigned as her pilot – her guide on the hunt. She takes a shine to him and wants to keep him close; all the while his relationship with Charlotte is slowly developing. At once a comedy of manners and a dramatic story of love and independence.
The Investigation by Jung-Myung Lee
Honestly I was attracted to this one because of its beautiful and striking cover. But it was also the opportunity to see World War II from ‘the other side’, that of the Japanese. Set in Fukuoka Prison in 1945, it is the story of ‘a prisoner and a guard; a poet and a censor.’ The poet is the real life Korean writer Yun Dong-ju, who was arrested for his supposed involvement with the resistance against Japan. He was sentenced to two years in Fukuoka, but died there several months before his release. He is still one of the most widely read Korean poets, and his work is taught in Korean schools. The Investigation imagines his relationship with a guard known for his brutality. The investigation of the title begins when the guard is murdered; Yun Dong-ju proves to have formed a significant connection to him through literature.
Some varied and excellent books there! I will write full reviews shortly, as well as share my photos from Ireland. What have you been reading this week?