Catching my breath
I found a book that swallowed me whole. It was fantastic – just like free-falling. Penni Russon‘s ‘Drift’ was a breath-taking finale to her Undine trilogy. I couldn’t put it down which was exactly the sort of tonic I was looking for after a heavy week of reading reference materials.
I also had a lot of fun with Catherine Bateson’s book ‘Being Bee’. It’s on this year’s CBCA Award shortlist with good reason. It was sharp and funny and touching without being sentimental. I liked Bee, the main character. Bee has to come to terms with her father introducing a ‘step-mother’ into her life. It’s a difficult time in any kid (or adult’s) life and a tough subject to write about without characters becoming cliched.
I almost can’t be bothered mentioning that I read Elizabeth Buchan’s ‘The Second Wife’ which is an adult book but it confirms that adult literature has no monopoly on good prose. It was clunky and unbelievable and I was cross I’d wasted my time. As a modern tale of second families, it wasn’t a patch on the charming ‘Being Bee’. There’s no question that Bateson is the better writer.
‘Layla, Queen of Hearts’ is also on the shortlist and was a sweet sequel to Glenda Millard’s earlier book ‘The Naming of Tishkin Silk’. I don’t usually go for this style of warm and fuzzy feel-good story but Millard does it so well and her prose is lovely.