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What I’m Reading : Episode 43, March 2022

What I just finished reading

I have the book club to thank for getting me to read Rose Tremain again. I’d read two novels by her many years ago — Restoration and Silence & Music — and found neither very enjoyable. A couple of years ago I started an audio version of The Road Home but gave up after just a few chapters. So I’d more or less decided she wasn’t an author for me. Reading Sacred Country has completely changed my opinion. This is a masterfully constructed tale of people who are all outsiders, with dreams and desires that are out of synch with their rural community. One aspires to be a country and western singer while another has homosexual desires. The main character was born female but has known since she was six years old that she is really a boy. Published in 1992, this novel was ahead of its time in its non-sensationalist focus on the challenges faced by people who realise they are not the gender they were told they were.

What I’m reading now

To mark Irish Literature Month, hosted by Cathy, I’m returning to one of my favourite Irish authors: Donal Ryan. Strange Flowers is a wonderful multigenerational story set in County Tipperary. It begins in the wake of the disappearance of local girl Moll Gladney, last seen catching an early morning bus with suitcase in hand. Five years later she re-appears at her parent’s home.

Also in progress is The Last Chronicle of Barset  by Anthony Trollope. It’s the sixth and last volume in his Barsetshire Chronicles , a series I’ve been reading as part of a Trollope project. The main story in this final volume is the predicament of a poor Reverend who is accused of theft. Though he has plenty of friends who rally around, his Bishop (or rather the bishop’s forceful wife) see this as a reason to oust him from his parish. This being Trollope there are multiple sub plots of a romantic nature.

Despite trying to avoid definitive plans I already know what books I’ll be reading in the next few weeks.

The book club choice is The Drowned City by K J Maitland, a historical fiction tale set in England a year after the failed Gunpowder Plot . Tensions are still running high with intrigues and conspiracies galore.

I have two books for review. Pesticide by Kim Hays is a police procedural set in Bern which has been described as “Switzerland’s answer to Scandinavian noir.” All Come to Dust by Bryony Rheam is a crime novel set in Zimbabwe’s second city Bulawayo.

And then there is #1954 club hosted by Karen @ kaggsysbookishramblings that will take place in the week of April 18. I’ decided at the beginning of this year that I would join in reading weeks/months only if I had something suitable in the TBR. So I’ve had a look and have found three options: Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis; She Who Was No More by Boileau-Narcejac and An Impossible Marriage by Pamela Hansford Johnson.

Realistically i’m only going to get to one of these because April is also ZolaAddictionMonth and I’m hoping to get to the next book in the Rougon-Macquet series.

That’s about the extent of my “plans” for the next few weeks.

Now tell me, What are your reading plans

What I’m reading is in support of WWW Wednesday  hosted by Sam at Taking On a World of Words. WWW Wednesday is actually a weekly meme but I choose to do it just once a month.

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