Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Book 59 of 2014: Christmas Eve by Robert Browning

Two book reviews in one week! I am spoiling you! Perhaps I should just go the whole hog and do a book review every day this week… maybe not, perhaps when I get a little bit behind next time.

As I've mentioned several times over the last couple of months; if you're looking for Christmas reading material, I could help you out. I'm very near the end of my reviews of the books I read in the lead up to Christmas last year (but I still have enough to carry us through for another month). Today's is a short little book called Christmas Eve by Robert Browning, which I got as a free ebook on Amazon. It's a small collection of poetry, all with a Christmassy feel.

When I picked it up to start reading it, I hadn't realised that it was all in verse. As a child and teenager I read an awful lot of poetry, but slipped out of that habit as I got older. Sometimes I'll feel in the mood for poetry and I'll seek it out, otherwise it sometimes creeps up on me like this. When I started it, I wasn't entirely sure I was in the mood for something poetic, but I soon found myself enjoying it.

A lot of the poems were written as rhyming couplets and it was these that I enjoyed the most. They were nice and predictable in a way, whereas the ones where the rhyme scheme switched to alternate lines felt jarring by comparison. I'm pretty certain that I've never read anything by Robert Browning before, so I don't have anything to compare it to, but I think I'll look out for more by him in the future.

On the whole this book has a very 'Victorian' sort of feel to it. There's a lot of stuff here about Christianity and belief; it's quite the moral text. Normally I find too much of that in a book wearing, but I can make an exception at Christmastime.

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