Wednesday, October 24, 2007

"Do English...Why waste your life learning clever ways to redescribe what everybody already knows? Art's much more complicated."

okay, so i finally finished reading this one: The Master Bedroom by Tessa Hadley, after i-don't-know-how-long, it seems i might have given up reading (for a nonce, anyway)~every time i pick up a book i can only read a page or two, which really sucks, because i have all of this idle time on my hands~not sleeping, and all~and with a semi-constant headache/migraine that cannot bear movement, or much light, or much sound~so household maintenance is definitely out of the question (oh so very sad, isn't it?), so i listen to NPR podcasts or watch movies endlessly~it also really sucks because i have an ever-growing pile of books in my need-to-read pile, but i guess it's all an "oh well" what can be done, really?.

My new empathy for all those kids who say "Reading is boring." is no reflection on this particular book. It is wonderfully written and Hadley definitely does no spoon feeding or hand holding for the reader, which is quite refreshing. The Master Bedroom is not quite as salacious as the title and/or cover may lead you to believe (isn't it how covers seldom match the content?) It's also a bit interesting how sometimes the Welsh-English seems to slide just slightly over my head (and, apparently, that of my Oxford Dictionary of Current American English).

The novel centers around the characters of Kate Flynn, who has returned to her hometown in Wales to take care of her aging mother (whose overall health seems to be fine but her mind seems to be drifting~not that that particular problem is limited to age); and David Roberts, the brother of Kate's best and oldest friend. Kate and David had a mild flirtation (perhaps one-sided) back in school and there's a chance they might want to continue it but things like his wife and nearly-adult son are murking things up a mite. Actually the whole novel is a mite murky. Kate's character is more than a little unapproachable and perhaps a tad unlikeable (although i could find a few similarities with myself so i didn't mind her). I did have more trouble with David though and didn't find him appealing in the least. Motivations for all the characters were hard to come by. However i really enjoyed the writing style and found the book well worth the read and also rather entertaining. Make any kind of sense?

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