I have been a little quiet of late. I have been rather busy what with one project and another. However I have continued to read non-stop. I am reading Persuasion for my March Reading Gym. However I also read books that are meant to be helping me in the writing of my own novel. So I have recently read ‘I Capture The Castle’ by Dodi Smith and ‘The Remains of the Day’ by Kazuo Ishiguro.
Now if you haven’t read either of these novels, I urge you in the strongest possible terms to read them immediately. Go on. They are WONDERFUL. You won’t regret it for a second. I had actually read ‘I capture the Castle’ before, but for some reason didn’t get as enamoured of it as I was this time. It begins with the brilliant line, ‘I write this sitting in the kitchen sink.’ It tells the story of Cassandra, her sister Rose, their step mother and father, who all live in a castle in Suffolk. The castle has seen better days and their eccentric father once wrote a brilliant book, but has not been able to write anything since. Their lives change when two American men enter their lives – they are the rightful heirs to the castle. The story is told from the point of view of Cassandra who is 17 and writes the story as she tells it to us, in her journal. It is funny, charming and the voice of Cassandra is one of literature’s most endearing creations.
The Remains of the Day is also brilliant. I had seen the film with the incredible Anthony Hopkins, but the book is a masterpiece. The manner in which Mr Stevens the butler so deludes himself not just about his importance in the world, but worse, his sense of propriety in all things, means he never really lives at all. Oh I could gush, I could and I will. It is a brilliant, subtle, intriguing piece of writing which deservedly won The Man Booker Prize. It goes straight into my Top Ten favourite books ever. It’s a book for the procrastinators of this world, or for those who have let opportunities slip through their fingers for fear of being seen as improper. Wonderful.
Finally, I thought I would share my latest blog piece that I wrote for Cuckoo Magazine. It’s all about book podcasts and I hope you enjoy. The link is below. I will return ere long with my review on Persuasion by Jane Austen.