Saturday, 15 March 2014
Still Life with Breadcrumbs
I read my first Quindlen novel a couple of years ago and I thought it was good but not great. This one I liked much better. It's about 60 year old Rebecca Winter (how many novels have a 60 year old heroine?) who was once a highly successful photographer who became something of a cult figure in the art world and a household name after her success with a series of domestic images.
Now divorced, alone, strapped for cash with ailing parents she can no longer afford to live in her New York apartment and rents a rural isolated cottage. Enter Jim the roofer who clears a raccoon from her loft, sorts out her firewood and clears her drive with a snow plough during a blizzard. (Wouldn't you fall for a man who can drive a snow plough?) Jim is a working man with a kind heart, no pretensions and a habit of saying 'Ah hell.' He's also 44. Quite a bit younger than Rebecca and it's nice to see a role-reversal relationship in a novel.
Well I won't say what happened next but I enjoyed spending time in the company of these likeable characters and this self-assured author. This novel reminded me a little of Adriana Trigiani's Big Stone Gap an old favourite of mine.
Lots of contemporary fiction I want to read at the moment, Karen Joy Fowler's We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves. The new novel from Jean Hanff Korelitz You Should Have Known and Ann Patchett's memoir The Story of a Happy Marriage. Alas, they are all in hardback and I've pretty much blown my hardback budget for this year and it's only March!
Although I don't knit or make quilts I'm a regular reader of Jane Brocket's blog and I think she writes very perceptive book posts. I do like her thoughts on the pleasures and freedom of blogging in this post.