STITCH LINES...... Ramblings on life as a quilter, stitcher, traveler, photographer, gardener and lover of books, cats and fine chocolate....

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Back to the Books!

No, I'm not talking about the return to school, but rather getting back to my love of reading.  What have you been reading lately? For the last two months I have been struggling, off and on, with Sarum, by Edward Rutherfurd. After reading (and LOVING) his New York (click here for that short review), many told me that their favourite Rutherfurd novel was Sarum so I soon found it at a used bookstore and picked it up for my "Must Read Soon" shelf. I started it just before my trip to NYC in late June, knowing I would need a book I could get engrossed in for the long bus ride. My seatmate was reading The Shoemaker's Wife by Adriana Trigiani (also on my To Read Soon list) and I was getting into Sarum, which covers a vast span of time in the history of England. I have to admit, it has been a struggle. I don't think it compares to New York, in my humble opinion. Granted, part of the problem is that I haven't been reading consistently. I have left it alone for long stretches during my busy summer. I didn't touch it between the New York trip and then leaving  for Prague several weeks later, reading it only on the flights to and from, and haven't touched it much since... I guess that doesn't help. Out of 1033 pages, I am at pg. 371. Is that far enough, do you think, to "call it"? How far do you read in a book that you are unsure of, before you give up on it? I think I'll give it another go, and see if I can get into it, but after another 100 pages, if it hasn't really grabbed me, I'm movin' on... There's too many other great books waiting for me...

My friend Barb loaned me The Light Between Oceans by M.L.Stedman a few days ago and I have swiftly devoured it. Another great debut novel - I can't wait for whatever Ms. Stedman writes next! It's a story of choices and consequences, tragedy and thought-provoking questions. Although it does not have the happy ending the reader would ultimately hope for, it is so very well written and the characters so well developed and real, I could not put it down. Stedman's skilled writing is beautiful, full of description so that one feels they are right there on windy Janus Rock as the gulls reel overhead and the waves crash upon the rocky shores. Love, anguish, a little mystery, atmosphere, symbolism and plot twists, this book has them all!
Set in remote south-western Australia, it's the story of a young man, Tom, who returns from WWI and seeks employment as a lighthouse keeper. He soon secures work on the small island of Janus Rock and along with his new young wife, they begin their isolated life there with great dreams of starting a family. Those dreams are soon shattered by two miscarriages and a stillbirth, but then a tiny miracle arrives by rowboat. The heart-wrenching decisions that ensue send their lives into a spiral of both happiness and heartbreak, changing lives forever. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, and would recommend it, for sure. I think it would be a great choice for a Book Club too. So what are you reading these days?

Peace,
Linda

"If a book is well-written, I always find it too short." ~ Jane Austen

5 comments:

Wendy said...

No shame in "calling it" after 400 pages. Not in my books ;)
I have considered the one you just cinished reading, several times...I love lighthouse books. I might just give it a go nw. Thanks!

quilton said...

My summer read was "The Best of Times" by Penny Vincenzi. My neighbour loaned it to me and I had quite a time putting it down. It was well written and over 800 pages long. Now I'm trying to get into The Hobbit. Not my cup of tea so far, but darned if I will give in.

Lavender Cottage said...

My daughter read this book too and highly recommended it. I'm finishing a few mystery books hubby bought at a flea market.

Dolores said...

I would say give it up now. If, after 300 pages you haven't wanted to read, read, read it, then go on to something else. After all, 33 pages is a whole novel in itself. I'm trying to read "The end of your life book club" by Will Schwalbe. It is my book club selection and I got stalled a couple of times, had to return the book because someone else put a hold on it and will probably finish it soon. The other book I am reading is "Year of wonder" by Geraldine Brooks and it's about the plague in a small village in England in the 1600s. This one I really do want to finish. The topic of the book intrigued me and I wanted to learn more.

Pamela Gordon said...

The book "Light Between Oceans" sounds really good but I don't like sad outcomes. I've been reading a book all summer. Mostly because I haven't been reading. I read a couple of pages before bed then fall asleep so on it goes. I'm past half way through it now so might be done if the story picks up. Have a great week! Oh, are you interested in going to Kings Landing one day? Just to walk and take pictures? Let me know.

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