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The latest Book...........

I am loving The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters. She's one of my favourite authors. Her language is fluent and rich, the spaces she leaves in her description are so emotive too

''I held my arm beneath his shoulders, so that after the injection had taken effect he sank on myhand, and I felt the faltering of his heart against my palm, and then the failing of it''

The book's narrator is a man but never once do I feel that he has a woman's perspective and he makes any sexual references in such a circuitive way that I feel he is true to both his class and his era. He is an antidote to some of the hysterical behaviour in the house in the setting of the supernatural parts and it is his matter of fact descriptions that make the strange happenings even more real. I like the fact he tells the story in its entirety and never once does the story move to another narrator even if he was not present for the parts of the stories he describes. It is true to his voice even when he has to explain the incidents through the eyes of the other characters. Although this is set some time after World War II I love the little references as well of how the war extended beyond Victory and touched a post war Britain in every aspect of their lives from their memories and neuroses to their finances and attitudes towards class. For example, the guilt that Mrs Ayres feels at having owned anything fine or extravagant during the war (talking of donating fur coats to chop up as blankets), even though she has less to live on than young people who now work shifts in factories

Her historical research is so ridiculously thorough and her emphasis on women in history enlightening. I have enjoyed every book she has written, and thoroughly recommend her.

She is connected to a friend of ours (her partner is our friend's sibling), and at our friend's wedding I was just dying to go and gush about what a fan I was, of the writing itself not so much of her as I don't know her, which I suppose is less embarassing....but acutely aware that she was in 'private' mode so never got to a chance to get into conversation with her as it would have been false and inappropriate.

Here is a list of her other books
Fingersmith - is my number one favourite
A 19th century gothic tale, with a sting and a twist you might not be ready for
Affinity - love this
A tale of ghosts and mediums and brilliant background of theosophical societies and women's prisons.

Tipping the Velvet - love this
A saucy and enlightening tale of Sapphic relationships and societies in the early part of the twentieth century, music halls and the early suffragette movement.

The Nightwatch - not my favourite of the five but good nonetheless
A tale of women's roles in wartime Britain and the opportunity it gave for some women to slot into predominantly male occupations.

And her latest one, I would slot that between Fingersmith and Affinity or Tipping the Velvet. The Little Stranger is a supernatural tale but is a brilliant tale of post war Britain, the downfall of the gentry the rise of middle classes and a claustrophobic relationship of two people representing both.

If anybody has read these, do comment. Waters' first book published was one of the reasons I got right back into fiction after a break due to illness. I thought I could not get fired up about reading again and that I had exhausted all the classics but since then there has been a surge of brilliant classic writing on the market.

Some other recently read books I can recommend are
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, a fast paced thriller set in Sweden
The 19th Wife, an amusing and informative tale of the birth of the Mormon movement.

It is hard to keep up with the amount I read. I rarelycomplete a bad book. If I don't like something, I give it a chance and then won't complete because there is a wealth of books to choose from. If you want to see what I could recommend, there are 452 books which I have read mainly over the past 10 yrs or so on the website GoodReads.

If you are an avid reader I would recommend this book site because even if you don't want to join in with the social networking it is linked to Amazon and you can queue books for your 'must buy next' shelf, put books you have read on your 'read' shelf and make a list of books 'to read'. The 'must buy' next has been brilliang for Christmas pressies because I just point people in that direction if they know I love to read but have not a clue what to buy. I don't stop buying books in the months leading up to Christmas, I just make sure I leave the 'buy next' list for other people and buy off the 'to read' list instead. Means I am never deprived of something to read and then disappointed if it does not turn up on the Christmas list.

What's next on my list? An old book actually, Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey. I didn't read much at the time this came out and so missed it. I have read other Peter Carey stuff and love his style so am looking forward to this. Then after that I have The Girl Who Played with Fire to read whch is a sequel of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

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