Sunday, 10 June 2018

A bit of everything on a perfect laundry day...

I’m enjoying a steaming cup of chai tea and the first local strawberries of the season, along with a slice of freshly baked Date Bread on this perfect spring morning.  It is so breezy that the sheets I hung outside about a half-hour ago are nearly dry, and I’ve got another load of sheets from last weekend’s company nearly ready to go.  There’s nothing better than the smell of freshly laundered sheets that have been hung outside to dry, one of the best things about this season.
I didn’t read anything last week, just finished up two books I hadn’t quite completed the week before.  Then I was at odds as to what to read next. I was planning to go and see the film adaptation of Ian McEwan’s On Chesil Beach yesterday, which made me want to reread this short novel again.  But I was too tired out to make it to the movie, and I didn’t read the book, either.  But I did pick up something I had on hold at the library, this year’s Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction winner, Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie.  I have enjoyed reading some of the winners of this prize in the past, including We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver, Bel Canto by Ann Patchett and Property by Valerie Martin, and this one was immediately engaging when I started reading it yesterday afternoon.  I hope to write about it more next week once I’ve finished, but it seems to be about a young woman, Isma, who has spent years raising her twin siblings and is now finally free to pursue her own dream.  She has moved from London, England to Amherst, Massachusetts to take up her PhD studies, but worries about her younger sister, Aneeka, back home and her younger brother, Parvaiz, who has disappeared to follow his own pursuit.  Then Eamonn, the son of a Muslim politician in London, turns up in Isma’s life and seems to offer her a sense of home comfort while she is away. I’m not sure what will happen next, as I’m only 35 pages into this 275 page novel, but so far it seems like a good choice.  I don’t always enjoy literary award winners (remember the recent French literary prize winner, The Perfect Nanny?!), but I can usually count on the Baileys Prize.  
That’s all for today.  Get outside and enjoy the glorious spring day! But don't try reading outside - it's too windy!
Bye for now…
Julie

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