Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Reading This Month: December

A Christmas Eve deadline for stockings, then a lot to do over Christmas meant I spent a lot more time crocheting than reading!

Sweet Caress: The Many Lives of Amory Clay by William Boyd
I've previously read and enjoyed Any Human Heart, also by William Boyd, and this book is quite similar in that it follows a character through the entirety, more or less, of her life. (I can't say exactly how similar as I read it several years ago).

I tore through this book as I quite enjoyed the company of Amory Clay. A photographer starting out taking society shots in the 20s, she soon takes on more interesting challenges in pre-war Berlin and then as a war photographer in the Second World War. The story, Amory's fictional autobiography, is interspersed with photographs from her career and, if I'm honest, I wasn't sure they were that good. But I was intrigued as to how William Boyd got hold of them!

I don't think that Amory is the most fully realised of narrators that I've come across, even now I find I think of her in terms of her lovers or the situations she found herself in rather than as herself. The book is also peopled with characters I wanted more from, like her sister Dido. But I still found this book to be thoroughly enjoyable, something about being taking along through this woman's life, a life lived in extraordinary times, really gripped me. I won't say anymore for fear of spoilers, but I'd recommend this as an interesting, if not altogether easy read.

I'm currently reading The Taxidermist's Daughter by Kate Mosse which is really quite slow going. I wonder if this is because I've been reading it as the month got progressively busier so I haven't really had a chance to get into it.

Here's to a better reading month in January - and a Happy New Year in general!

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