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Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Girl Reading by Katie Ward

The Blurb on the back tells us: An Orphan poses nervously for a Renaissance maestro in Medieval Siena, and an artist servant girl in 17th century Amsterdam snatches a moment away from her work to lose herself in tales of knights and battles. In a Victorian photography studio, a woman holds a book that she barely acknowledges while she waits for the exposure and in Shoreditch bar in 2008 a woman reading catches the eye of a young man who takes her picture.

What is perhaps not apparent is that this book is a collection of short stories; all have a woman at the centre, and man somewhere and emotion everywhere. Viv Groskop, The Times states this book “has a real beating heart”, and I would agree with that statement. The book as a piece of literature is brilliant. I could really have got an essay out of this for so many courses in the past and I am confident some course lecturer will pick this as content for one of their books. It’s brilliantly written and the change in voices could be compared to David Mitchell (The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet) without a doubt. Any women’s reading group that chose this book would not be disappointed and they would run over time in their discussions.

It is somewhat more intellectual than your average bestseller and therefore if you are after something a bit more stimulating to read this would make an excellent choice, curled up in the beanbag, in front of the fire whilst it is pouring down with rain.

The Commuting Bookworm 08/08/12

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