I think my book clubs despair of me because although I love reading, I don’t think I am any longer a good reader. When I was young, from being a small child I would read pretty much anything, in fact the only book I can remember not finishing was a Walter Scott novel – it may have been Rob Roy, or Ivanhoe but whichever it was, it was it was very thick and had tiny writing. Back to the present, and my book clubs… I’m always the one who rather apologetically says that I didn’t like it/didn’t finish it/thought it was awful or dull or badly written or clichéed. There have been exceptions, ‘English Passengers’ by Matthew Kneale, ‘The Red Tent’ by Anita Diamant, ‘The Lifeboat’ by Charlotte Rogan and ‘The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared’ by Jonas Jonasson… oh and lots more, but there have been lots and lots more I didn’t like!
In the bookshop today I picked up ‘The Dry’ by Jane Harper which I have recommended as our September read (I hope it’s good!) and saw another book which I had vaguely glanced at. Graham Norton, who is Irish and openly gay and very camp, is the sort of comedian/TV personality/actor/chat show host people really like, or really dislike; he has a very particular style and sense of comedy, but he is an intelligent and interesting person. The other book I glanced at is by him, by Graham Norton, and I had looked at it before; it’s a novel called ‘Holding’,set in rural Ireland, and the blurb on the back says ”the little village of Duneen has always kept its scandals contained. But when a body found at Burke’s Farm, the past opens up like a pit.’ It so happened that both these books were on offer – buy one, get one half price, so I did just that and bought both.
I bought them and went and sat down for a cup of tea and dipped into ‘Holding’ and half an hour later I came up for air and had a slurp of tea. I can’t say whether I will continue to like it, be intrigued, be gripped, laugh out loud all the way through, but it was so nice for a change to find a book which from the first page drew me in!
I will let you know how my reading progresses, and whether I like ‘Holding’ to the end!
In the meantime, if you have read my novel Radwinter, which is now available as a paperback, I would be really pleased if you let me know what you think of it!