I’ve been almost bragging about the number of brilliant books I’ve read recently. It seems I’ve found one after another with only a couple of duffs and one of those I actually did read to the end. Some of my brilliant books have been prize winning, some have been self-published, some everyone has read, some no-one else has even heard of. Of course, my brilliant might be someone else’s dreadful, what I think is beautifully written might seem like the most dull set of words ever penned to another reader.
This is what makes book clubs and reading groups interesting; it’s sometimes a shock and almost hurts when a favourite book or writer is criticised or disliked, but it’s interesting to look at something familiar from a different point of view. Of course when someone also loves a book then it’s the most delightful thing to compare notes on the funniest episodes, the favourite character, the most heart-wrenching chapters.
However, when you’re the only one in the group who either loves or hates a book it’s a different matter. I don’t know about anyone else but when I dislike a book which everyone else is raving about I have a whole mixture of feelings; guilt, shock, disappointment, sorrow, and sometimes even I feel as if I’m not quite up to it that I missed the brilliance of the author, the splendid language, the sparkling prose. I know I shouldn’t feel like that – and none of my fellow group members would ever dream of being sneering about anyone’s point of view – it’s something about me!
At the moment I’m ploughing my way through what I am finding a most dreary and boring and dully written book. Because we’re only having virtual meetings, we’re messaging each other a lot and I had that sinking feeling when I realised my dear friends have a very different opinion from me. I hope however, that in our get-together I will understand something about the book which I’ve missed, and will see what the critics find so laudable. “A triumphant piece of historical fiction”, “a deeply poignant tale”, “profound and provocative book“… that’s what critics have said, well somehow that passed me by. The book? ‘Bodies of Light’ by Sarah Moss – have you read it? What are your thoughts?