The Girl You Left Behind – Jojo Moyes

“Chastity: I know you can be overwhelmed, and you can be underwhelmed, but can you ever just be whelmed? Bianca: I think you can in Europe” – 10 Things I Hate About You

It’s exciting to find a writer that you just get along with.  Their prose flows, you quickly engage with their characters, you slip into their imaginary worlds like you are slipping into a warm bath, and you lap up their books one after another. I have read three of Jojo Moyes’ books, becoming gripped by her breakthrough novel Me Before You, which has now been made into a film. It had me gripped from the first scenes in the Buttered Bun. I read Silver Bay in pretty much one sitting. Next it was the turn of The Girl You Left Behind. Having just discarded (permanently – it really was that bad) a book set across two time periods of the Second World War and the present day, I was a little alarmed to note that the next book I selected from my shelf was also similarly contrived. I wonder if both authors attended a creative writing class where the suggested topic was “Echoes from the past”. Continue reading “The Girl You Left Behind – Jojo Moyes”

Human Traces – Sebastian Faulks

“Every day, my daddy told me the same thing. ‘Once a task is just begun, never leave it till it’s done. Be the labour great or small, do it well or not at all’.” – Quincy Jones

So it turns out that I am a Finisher (there will be more on this in a future post). I derive satisfaction from getting things done, ticking things off my list, persevering. With books it has always been the same. I can perhaps count on the fingers of one hand the books I have started and not finished. Stephen King’s It (too scary), Martin Amis’s Yellow Dog (too dull), Camilla Macpherson’s Pictures at an Exhibition (too annoying, the characters that is), Erich Kästner’s Lottie and Lisa (too long, I was about 8 when I tried and my attention span too short – I have since bought an old copy and finished reading it so perhaps this shouldn’t be in the list). Continue reading “Human Traces – Sebastian Faulks”