Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Getting Back To Normal

Although Flo's death caused huge upheaval over the last few weeks and a tremendous sense of loss, life must go on after bereavement so we've come to Scotland for a few days to see Sarah, Duncan and Rose. I know that everyone thinks that their own grandchildren are the best in the world but Rose gives us good reason to feel like that - she's such a happy child; she raises everybody's sprits whenever she is around. It won't be long before she's walking and talking now and I'm so pleased that we've been able to see so much of her development despite our living almost three hundred miles away.

And speaking of raising the spirits, I read The Beginner's Goodbye  by Anne Tyler yesterday. What a lovely book. Strangely enough it is about bereavement although I didn't know that when I started reading - I just went to the first of the books that Marion has downloaded recently on the Kindle and started on page one without checking any of the blurb. It's the story of socially inept thirty something Aaron who loses his wife and how he copes with the aftermath of her death. It's beautifully written - a perfect lesson on the "showing not telling" that writers are encouraged to develop and I loved the way that the book dripped tiny snippets of information and finally gathered them all together into a very satisfying end. A very charming book that was just my cup of tea.

 I am afraid to say that Meg Rosoff's There Is No Dog was exactly the opposite. I started reading it just before Flo died and instead of finishing in my usual day or two it took over two weeks which may not have helped with the flow. However, having loved Just In Case by the same author so much, I was expecting another excellent read but I'm afraid that, despite the glowing reviews on Amazon and elsewhere, I just couldn't take to this story about God as a teenage boy with his weird, muppet-like, pet Eck. I don't know if I was in the wrong frame of mind but, despite a fascinating concept, it did nothing for me so it's not recommended, if I were to review it on Amazon I'd be giving it one star but I don't do nasty reviews on Amazon as I know that I wouldn't like them if my book ever got out there.

We went to see The Hunger Games at FACT last Wednesday. I know that it has been a smash hit but it didn't live up to our expectations. There's another great performance from the eminently watchable Jennifer Lawrence and plenty of twists in the plot but we both felt that it dragged a bit and, at almost two and a half hours long, could have done with being trimmed. 

We loved The Kid With A Bike though. The story of an elven year old boy abandoned by his dad but fostered by  the lovely and saintly local hairdresser played by Cecile de France it is a charming study of a child growing up and trying to accept that his blood relations don't want him, the effect that it has on his behaviour and the repairs that can be made by being wanted. It's a much edgier film than I had been led to believe by the headlines but beneath the delinquency of young Cyril there is a yearning for acceptance and charm in the way that he ultimately achieves it. 

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