If you’ve been following my 40-By-40 Reading List journey, you will know that in the first two months of this year I managed to read only one book. It was long, but still, not a great result.
The good news is that thigns have sped up, after a small setback that is. I had a little bit of a struggle with Wolf Hall after getting quite a way into it. I just couldn’t see myself finishing it any time soon. I know loads of people loved it, and it is true that getting used to the writing style at the beginning is tough going. I got past that hurdle but found it hard to concentrate on the story about a week ago.
Rather than struggle on and not get far, I decided to put Wolf Hall on hold and read Dinner At the Homesick Restaurant. A very good friend of mine, and a voracious reader, recommended this book to me and I am pleased to say I can recommend it to you.
From the very first paragraph, I was enthralled, not only bw the story but also by the writing and the main character Pearl Tull. Anne Tyler, the author, has, in this book at least, a very natural voice and the books reads like someone is telling you a story. You don’t have the feeling of reading it. You hear it.
Being a history lover, I enjoyed that the story spans most of the 20th century. From Pearl’s 1904 school report to her death in the early 1980s (the story starts with her deathbed, so I am not giving anything away here!), the reader is taken through the decades. While there is little reference to political or historical events, mention is made of hair styles, clothing and interiors, giving you a feel for the passing of time.
Stories like these fascinate me. I’ve fallen in love with Anne Tyler now and am sure that several other novels of hers will feature among the 38 books left to read.