OK, I've been trying to read Atonement, and I think it's a no-go for me at the moment.
To be clear, it's a lovely read. Ian McEwan, no surprise, is a beautiful writer. But in part, I'm suffering from having James McAvoy and Keira Knightley in my head, and so I long to skip forward and around to all the key parts from the movie. Now, it appears the film is a really good reflection of the novel. And so, the second problem I'm having is the darkness of the novel is a bit too much for me.
I had initially selected Atonement as follow-up to A Student of Weather in hopes I might find parallels between McEwan's young Briony and Hay's young Norma Joyce. And there are similarities -- a careful, obsessive attention to details, for example. But where Briony allows her imagination to get the better of her, Norma Joyce is decidedly manipulative and purposeful in orchestrating the small tragedies all around her.
So what to read instead? I'm considering Margaret Laurence's The Fire-Dwellers. Not sure it's a pick-me-up though.... Apparently all I want lately is froth, but I've filled my bookshelves with anti-froth.
(Shush, you who judge Jane Austen. She wrote novels that reflected the socio-economics of her time. She challenged our ideas of male-female relationships. Sort of.)
It is, nonetheless, my week off. So, I've had the chance to pick up on some of my favourite blogs, like The Keepin' It Real Book Club.
And, to evaluate deep thoughts:
Is Garfield funny?
If Carrie Bradshaw has always had poor taste in men, why -- oh why? -- wouldn't she ever grow out of that?
The Wooden Sky is pretty awesome.
Who would marry someone named Gooch?
Is this the beach of my dreams?