I'm not used to taking weeks over one book. There were times when I could have sworn that it grew 50 pages in length on the bed-table overnight because I never seemed to get any further on with it.
I thought if I ever finished it, I'd deserve a medal.
(It's a book group choice. I don't know why, because nobody's cracking a whip, but I've never abandoned a book group book yet. Think this has more to do with personal vanity at conceding defeat in a public arena than any finer feelings of etiquette and fairness to the person who chose the book.)
But now that I have finished ... there's ideas rattling round in my head about truth (especially as reported by newspapers) and the nature of celebrity and I realise that I was much more engaged than I thought. (Of course, for pure reading pleasure, it didn't come within a whisker of Wolf Hall. It won the Orange prize because it is a big, fat, serious political doorstopper and maybe we still don't expect women writers to address political issues.)
The photos are Leon Trotsky and Frida Kahlo. I'm far too lazy to write a review but here's an interesting interview with Barbara Kingsolver.
I still think that it's a major flaw if it takes 250pp to get interested in the main character.
But we'll have plenty to discuss when we meet later this week.
At least, we will if everybody else has finished the book!