Tina is back with Post Four for The Book Project. In her last post, she mentioned that her system wasn’t working very well for her – let’s see if that has changed this week!
The Book Project – Short Stories and the start of a long life.
So I have been ploughing on with the new regime of drawing a little picture once I have read a book and filing it in my lovely Filofax. It is becoming rather satisfying and now that I have a few more books in there it is starting to have a library feel! The system of filing books under my sub headings is also working. I do not need any more so far which either means that I have very narrow reading habits or my sub heading are so broad that I can file anything anywhere! I am really enjoying doing the silly little drawings rather than using photographic images and like how it gives me 5 minutes or so to reflect on the book I have just read.
The books I have read this time are Ron Rash – Burning Bright and Elisabeth Jane Howard – The Light Years (Cazalet Chronicles 1).
I first learned about the Cazalet Chronicles last year when Radio 4 started a serial of all the books. Of course my interest was peaked when I heard that it spanned the life of a family through world wars! When we think of familys it’s all too easy to think of them as one homogenus group rather than individuals. In the first book of the Chronicles we are introduced to a raft of family members and look inside each one, one at a time. Through the different perspectives we get to see the whole family as only members of a family can. There’s unrequited love, childhood longings and secret relationships aplenty here and as each character is so rounded you really feel like you know them before the book is ended. I will be reading the whole series over time and so it will be interesting to see what parts of the chronicles are picked out in my drawings.
The world created through the short stories of Ron Rash could not be further from the monied middle class world of Cazalets, no long summers spent at large family houses for his characters. Instead we have sparse, slight lives that are run on a wing and a prayer. Now if you had married a man a lot younger than you who had looked after you in times of grief who had provided so that you did not lose your home you’d feel pretty blessed right? But what if you suspected him of being the towns arsonist. What would you do? This question is posed in the first short story of the book. All of the stories hang on a sense of despair or maybe it is loneliness or maybe it is hopelessness. Now don’t let this put you off as this is some of the most beautiful writing I have ever read.
I’ve got three books on the go for my next post so I think I had better leave off this one and get back to my Kindle!