Monday, 12 March 2018



I absolutely loved Bernard MacLaverty's latest book Midwinter Break which reminded me that I'd never got round to reading his earlier novel Grace Notes, despite the pulling power of its jacket by one of my favourite artists Hammershoi.
Sadly, it turns out that I'm the wrong the reader for this one and I didn't warm to this novel at all. Perhaps it really is 'a bad novel by a good writer' as one reviewer put it, but I simply felt irritated by Catherine, the young woman composer who is the central character; though I'll grant that someone more responsive to music - and the smell of babies - than I am might feel more sympathetic.
It's short, so I limped along to the end - felt glad that I didn't choose it for book group as it's my turn next and they'd all have hated for me for it - then picked up a George Gissing with huge relief because a good Victorian never lets you down.

4 comments:

Gina said...

I am half way through Midwinter Break, on your recommendation I believe. I'm finding it an enjoyable read, if a little uncomfortable at times. He he very good at observing the ordinary and dull minutiae of life! And the conversations that go on between people who have been together a long time.

mary said...

I loved Midwinter Break, Gina. So much so that I was really surprised and disappointed when I didn't love Grace Notes. The finer points about music went over my head and though I can appreciate that he is very good at describing the head/smell/interminable crying of a very small baby, I felt dragged into postnatal depression along with the main character. Again, not a comfortable read.

Veronica Cooke said...

I remember reading this and quite enjoying it many years back...

Mary said...

Perhaps it didn't help that I came to it with such high expectations after Midwinter Break, Veronica.