book swap, creative writing, novel

Month 1 Book Swap: Enduring Love

My first month of book swap (August) has now come to an end and I have sent on Enduring Love by Ian McEwan to the next reader in our group.

enduring love

 

From reading the blurb for this book, I don’t believe it is one I would pick up in a shop and take home. However, that is the best thing about book swaps – you end up reading things you perhaps never would otherwise.

The novel focuses on Joe’s passionate relationship with Clarissa, intertwined with another love forced upon him by Jed. In amongst the complexities that build between these three characters, the novel discusses religion, science, trust, mental health, and the difficulties of pursuing the right career.

Enduring Love by Ian McEwan was a very intense book and my favourite bit about it was its unpredictability. With each chapter, I did not expect or anticipate at all what would then be revealed and I often found myself frustrated and having to read on because I just could not predict what would come next or how a certain issue would be resolved.

However, whereas my last review of Stoner by John E Williams was that it was a book that anyone could read and relate to, Enduring Love is perhaps not for everyone. I occasionally found myself lost in some of the detailed ramblings about science from Joe which perhaps detracted from my reading. Nevertheless, I would say that the fewer sittings this book is read in, the better, in order to keep on top of the details, the characters and to not get distracted by some of its background complexities. The times I spent longer reading, the more I found myself enjoying the book.

This novel is mysterious, creepy and very unique and for these reasons I would still highly recommend it as one to read.

 

 

 

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book swap, creative writing, love, novel, prose

Stoner, by John Edward Williams: Book

I bought this book a while back and after a pause in reading at about Chapter 4 a few weeks ago, I was determined to finish this on our holiday last week and in the evenings since being home.

The first thing I will say is, I would advise this as a read for absolutely anybody and everybody. 

stoner
“A stunning novel… more timeless, more important, more real, than most novels can ever hope to be”The Snow Child

Usually I find myself making excuses for why I don’t have time to read, but this weekend I found myself making excuses as to why everything else could wait whilst I sat curled up in the duvet on the sofa engrossed in Stoner.

This novel is the most beautifully simple story about the life of a simple man. This is not a story about any elaborate adventurous event, or a far fetched fantasy, but focuses on the ups and downs of what in the grand scheme of things, is a very ordinary life.

And that, in my opinion, is what makes this novel so overwhelmingly brilliant and something everyone should read. It touches upon the disappointments of the everyday, the fragility of time in our lives, the dangers of comfort zones and the results of settling for what we think is enough. Whilst the main story of Stoner’s life is set in the 1920s and 1930s, many of the issues touched upon remain wholly relevant to the world today.

What resonated with me the most, was the reoccurring waves of a sense of ambition and passion that Stoner has throughout the novel for pursuing his research, which continue to be overwhelmed and suppressed by the speed at which our other daily commitments take over. This is something I continue to lose a battle against.

John E. Williams made me feel sympathy, sorrow, love, hope, ambition and melancholy in just the turn of a few pages.