28 October 2010

Posted by DMC on 28 October 2010 in Diary |

Our last full day, we leave around 4 p.m. tomorrow. Again there was a tremendous storm last night so the rainy season clearly is not yet over. This unpredictable weather must make It extremely difficult for the hotel staff to plan their outside events such as tonight’s cocktail party and buffet dinner down by the beach. No problem, they have been in this situation very many times before. They seem to be able to conjure up an army of ants from nowhere, at a moments notice, and the whole caboodle can be transferred upstairs undercover. with the party hardly missing a beat ,

I have finished Sster and promised I would say what they thought of it at the end. If I had reservations or indeed did not particularly like the book, could I say say honestly with it being the product of a daughter of my dear friends Probably not. Anyway, who  am I to say whether a book is good or bad, the assessment is purely subjective, although the evidence, in this particular case could be said to be the immense success shown by the impressive number four early sales..

As I said, when I started reading it, I found it an interesting book an extremely well written. I was amused to see, what I imagined to be Richard and Judy (A level) type questions at the end under Reading and Discussion Points. There are so many more books I wish to read before I die, do I really  want to spend many precious hours discussing a book I have already read? I’ve had the meal, I enjoyed the taste of the food, my appetite was satisfied, do I really need to sit back and analyse the ingredients and how they were cooked — it matters not to me. Having said that there were some interesting questions under these Discussion Points. They were put in such a way as to make me wonder whether even the author herself had doubts that she had got the format or structure right.

We never did discover whether  Bee was suffering from a terminal illness, which is the impression given in the book,, if so, it must be a long-term illness as she did not appear to deteriorate too much during the period covered by the book.  (Of course, it may well be that this was explained and I missed it in one of those little periods when a 76,,  terminally ill man nods, off for a few minutes, waking only to resume reading at a little lower down the page)

 Leaving that aside the one aspect of the book I did find interesting, if a little demanding, was the interweaving of thoughts; a letter to her dead  sister; her private thoughts; the interview with the  Mr Wright; the present time, and so on and so on, in some instances it seemed to me a mixture of several of these in the same paragraph, but maybe I’m just imagining that or was not reading carefully enough or can be excused on the grounds without read it in Thailand where the all embracing warmth of the sun makes concentrating more difficult.. In most instances, of course, it was obvious which was which but one had to be alert, so in that respect we I did not find it an easy read. The idea of writing from different angles, of course, is not a new. What maybe new in this case was the interweaving of those different aspects. Indeed, one of my own book, The Sanctuary House Case  employs a similar technique  using four different fonts covering four different aspects.

Okay, so I am no literary critic. that much is clear. In summary, I did enjoy the book and I will unhesitatingly buy Rosamund’s next effort . I do hope that none of this sounds too pompous

To balance things up the least I can do is to repeat an extract from an e-mail I received from my dear daughter, quite out of the blue, as I was completing this entry — she loved the book.

Hi Dad 

How are you enjoying Sister?  I have just finished it and I have to say I was utterly gripped! So much so that I was reading until 1.30am this morning in order to find out what happened in the end!  I won’t spoil it for you but I hope you are enjoying it as much as me.  I look forward to reading her next book.

All I can remember of this book, during its gestation period, was, Rosamund’s mother, my dear friend Jane, charging weekly up to London one or two days a week to assume control of the household, to free her daughter to write and rewrite this first novel. Why then no acknowledge for Mum? (Or like the lack of explanation of Bee’s illness, did I miss it? -I did, it’s now been explained to me) If she was overlooked I suppose it is because we all take our nearest and dearest for granted! I have been told subsequent to writing this entry  that ‘the parents ‘ were mentioned in the Dedication for their lifelong support etc. Being an e-book reader of course I did not have that Dedication to hand but, in any event, it would be appropriate to mention that without Mum’s household supervision the book might never been written and it is my view that this would be best  amongst the other effusive Acknowledgements. But that’s just me, Rosamund.


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