28 November 2014
It is dark till late in the morning these days. We have taken to lighting candles for our breakfast table and leaving them burning until the light comes in. It is one of the things I find difficult about this time of year but in less than a month the days will be increasing again, even if the weather takes longer to brighten up the daylight is a blessing.
Light is one of the links between the two books I have read this month, I do love links and connections don't you? A Sudden Light by Garth Stein is set in the North West of North America in the Seattle area. Although the book is set in the 1990s as the narrator, a fourteen year old boy, moves with his father to his ancestral home, it moves from the present into the past as Trevor, our narrator, explores the house and his family's past. The move is ostensibly for his father to begin a trial separation from his mother and so that the home can be sold to release much needed funds for his bankrupt father. He finds a spirit in the house who does not want the house to be sold and the surrounding land to be developed. This book explores many worlds, that of the timber barons of the nineteenth century, that of spiritualism and transcendentalism (which gives the book its title) and that of the environment and our relationship with it over time. The extensive mention of trees gives me a link to my reading from last month. I absolutely loved this book, I couldn't put it down. I had never heard of the author, although I understand he has several other books, I picked this book up in the library because it was on the new book stand which is near the children's section. I have written before about how I select books from the library!
My second book is one that I did not think I would finish this month but I have, catching me on the hop again as I don't have another book lined up! At 832 pages The Luminaries is a meaty book. A Luminary is a person having much intellectual, moral or spiritual influence or a natural light giving body esp. sun or moon (from Concise Oxford English Dictionary) this book weaves both into the narration which is complex and compelling. Its complexity is aided by the speed which its woven into the text, for some this is too slow and they have given up on continuing, for me this is the books strength. It gives you time to absorb the characters and the complexity of the plot, a mystery set in 1860s New Zealand at the time of the gold rush. A wealthy man has disappeared without trace, a whore has tried to end her life and an enormous wealth has been discovered in the home of a dead man, twelve men gather together to discuss these mysteries. Their meeting is held in secret at a local hotel into which stumbles a thirteenth man who has himself just arrived in the town and is drawn into their mystery. It accounts for the first 360 pages of the book, each of the twelve characters is introduced with their part in the mystery. This was another book I could not put down. I read at night before going to sleep this was perhaps not the best choice of bedtime reading. I read to help me get to sleep this book is a good one for keeping you awake as it gets the mind churning.....
So what next? I will update when I have visited the library later today! So I visited the library and came home with another very long book.........one that I perhaps won't finish this month.........we'll see. I am tackling The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, another book with mixed reviews but I loved the first two novels that Donna Tartt wrote so I am hoping I will love this one too.
Linking up with A Year in Books