Gosh almost a week has gone by since I last blogged. Sorry about that.
I’ve been feeling under the weather for a variety of reasons and hiding mostly in books. (I’d like to announce that I have the loveliest Husband in the world who, on seeing that I was under par, told me not to worry about the unpacking of boxes and concentrate instead on looking after myself. He might not have said that if we still hadn’t found his underwear though.)
Yesterday morning I finished reading The Waiting Room by FG Cottam. It’s a ghost story set in the modern day and around the WW1. Me, Queen of Realism, reading a ghosty tale? I couldn’t work out how I’d got there but looking over there to the left at my list of reading material it clearly came via The Woman in Black. And that was influenced by the Lucie Whitehouse psychological thrillery stuff I picked up (and loved) in the UK…
And who says I don’t read ghost stories? Well, I do. My brother loves ghost stories. I wanted so much to impress him that I remember trying to read MR James’ stories when I was much too young – precocious reader that I was. One night I had a friend over to stay and Brother must have been babysitting. I would’ve been under 11 because it was a primary school friend. Brother took his responsibilities most seriously. After we’d gone to bed, we dimmed the lights and Brother came in to read a bedtime story. He read the WW Jacobs’ story The Monkey’s Paw to us as my friend Helen and I panted into brown paper bags to prevent hyperventilation.
One of my top books last year was Sarah Waters’ A Little Stranger. At the time my response to the story was different from everyone else at book group. I’ve been thinking about this book again since one of the Book Club members passed me a Guardian interview. Sarah Waters talks about writing this book and she says ‘No other novel of mine has inspired such a range of responses in its audience…’ Lovely Helen and I have been emailing about A Little Stranger too since I saw on Twitter that she was reading it. I tweeted back: ‘please let me know when you’ve finished so we can talk about the ending.’ I had (and still have) total conviction that I am correct in my reaction. And I love that about art; whether I am right or wrong it’s my reaction.
If you haven’t already had enough of me I’m hosting coffee over at the Novel Racers’ blog today.