Saturday, 31 May 2014

This Month I Read ...

This is the second month in which I am joining with Muttering Mummy to share the books I have been reading over the last 4 weeks. If you follow the link to her page ( after you've read my post obviously!!! Don't go yet...) you will see reviews of what she's been reading and also links to the reviews of other bloggers too. What's not to like??

So, my first book this month was The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer.

This is a book that reminded me very much of The Curious Incident of the Dog at Midnight and I read it because I had read Muttering Mummy's review last month. It follows the life of Matthew Homes, a young man whom, we gradually realise, is suffering from schizophrenia. The author manages to convey the disjointed and disturbed thought processes of the schizophrenic without allowing the storyline to become disjointed or confusing.
It is not a book that I can say I loved reading as it is so desperately sad to witness the hopelessness of family breakdown and grief, but it is well written and, in my opinion, well worth reading.
Written in the first person by the character of Matthew it becomes clear, gradually, that he is an unreliable narrator. The reader slowly realises that Matthew's truth is not necessarily "the truth". An air of melancholy is all pervasive as the reader witnesses the effect of mental illness and loss on an entire family. 
This is an interesting book which has left me, I hope, with a greater understanding of mental illness, but not a book that has left me with a great sense of happiness or satisfaction.

My next read was Love! Laugh! Panic! Life with my Mother by Rosemary Mild

I was given this book to review and I'm afraid to say I didn't like it at all. It is the memoir of Rosemary Mild and her mother. It is a series of anecdotes strung together in a rather disjointed way which might have been amusing if related in person, but on the printed page just didn't work. I couldn't wait for it to be over, sadly.

The next book I read was A Handful of Dust by Evelyn Waugh. This was a book that I read for my Book Group and, to be honest, I really didn't know what to expect.

Published in 1934 A Handful of Dust follows the fortunes of a group of London Socialites, particularly Tony and Brenda Last. From the very beginning though I loved this book. It was like a combination of PG Wodehouse and Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness. I found it easy to read and absolutely compelling in its portrayal of society at the time. Without giving anything away the ending gave me shivers with its twist. I will remember this book for a long time and would thoroughly recommend it! Excellent!!

I am currently reading The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell and am about halfway through so I won't review it until next month!

If you would like to join in with this linky then do have a look at Muttering Mummy's blog. She sets up the linky at the end of each month and quite a few people join in. Its an interesting way of reading reviews and getting ideas of books to try.

I hope you will join in and if you have read any of the books above, do let me know what you thought of them!


Tracy said...

I read The Shock of the Fall last month and I have to say that I liked it - not an easy read but if you know anything about mental illness - it's easier to understand it.

Love the sound of A Handful of Dust - will definitely be putting that on my list.

Love your reviews. x

sarah at secret housewife said...

Hi Tracy. I realise now that the reason I read The Shock of the Fall was because I read your review! Glad you liked my reviews! x