Saturday, March 26, 2011
It has been a long time since a book has grabbed me so hard I read and read until the wee hours. I think the last one was the 7th Harry Potter, which I started as a quick bedtime read and suddenly realized it was 6am and I hadn't been to sleep at all. This is another such book. I picked it up from the library Thursday night, read a couple of chapters that evening, a couple at work during lunch on Friday, and came home Friday night thinking I would read a couple of chapters, and then work on some of my sewing projects. Hah! Was I wrong. This book grabbed me and wouldn't let go.
I picked the book because it is this month's selection for the Quilty Girls Book Club Flickr group. I hadn't heard of it before, and frankly I didn't expect much because last month's book was kind of a bust for me. I didn't even finish it. But this one was different.
Diane Setterfield's prose is beautiful in places - in other places it kind of intrudes into the story, but those places are infrequent and easily overlooked. The characters are almost entirely disfunctional, and yet somehow, you care what happens to them. And you want to find out what happens, which helps. There is just enough of an air of mystery and a fun little twist at the end, that keeps you reading... and in my case, reading and reading and suddenly it's 2:45 am.
The main character in the story, Margaret, is a bookish young woman that I could really relate to on some levels. When I was younger, books were often more real to me than people, and Margaret seems to have this problem. I could really relate to that part of her character. I actually marked a quotation from the book I wanted to keep - and then turned the book back in to the library before I copied it. I am notorious for library fines, so THIS time, I promised myself, it would be different. Alas, this time I was too quick.
There are some truly dark places in this book, so it probably isn't for everybody, but it sure kept me turning the pages.