Monday, 5 July 2010

Reading in Croatia

Just back from two relaxing weeks in Croatia with Liz. We were joined by our youngest, Hannah,  for the last few days.It was lovely  How fortunate we are to have the resources for such a treat.

One of my great joys is reading, and preparing my reading list for holiday is half the fun. I try to mix things up somewhat and I got through five whilst away . A brief comment about each this week will suffice.

Firstly A Painted House by John Grisham. I've only read a couple of his previously (The street lawyer and The last juror) and was expecting something similar, but what a surprise. It was like reading a 21st century Nevile Shute! I absolutely loved it. OK somewhat slow moving, but atmospheric, intriguing and with believable characters. I guess part of the joy was being transported to early 1950s rural Arkansas and the travails of a struggling cotton farm.  It was all so fresh to me and a helpful reminder of some of the challenges of living before mobile phones, air conditioning and Big Brother.

There are some wonderful scenes. The carnival and the unbeaten Samson, challenging all comers to survive 60 seconds in the ring, the annual baseball match between the Baptists and Methodists, the gathering round the radio on Saturday to listen to the crackling commentary for the baseball, and the formidable Reverend Akers,  'he liked the carnival it gave him something to preach  against'!!  Perhaps the least believable part of the book was the world as viewed through the narrator-7 year old Luke Chandler. He just seemed to have too mature view of the world and it's complexities.

A great read.
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