I'm actually pretty glad that my reading pace has slowed down this year, I'm guessing because I'm not participating in any challenge this year, but it's allowing me a chance to get all caught up on my review posts.
Way back at the start of October last year I was handed a book by my Mum-in-Law who suggested I might like to read it. I'm always up for a recommendation, and feel compelled to read all books which come my way from cover to cover. So I gave this one a go.
The Silent Woman by Catherine Cookson is a story which spans many years. A dishevelled woman shows up at a London solicitors firm and is revealled to be a woman who disappeared from a wealthy family almost thirty years ago. What follows is a look into her life during those missing years the friends she made during that time.
This was my first time ever reading a Catherine Cookson book. She's one of those authors that you always hear about but I've never bothered picking up one of her books until this one crossed my shelf. This is apparently her last novel. I liked the main bulk of the story which dealt with Irene's life at Bella's house, but I kind of felt like the beginning and end took away from the rest of the story. I think I might have been happier if we'd never truly found out who Irene was.
Honestly, I liked the character of Bella best. It sort of felt like her story at points. She was definitely more interesting than most of the other characters. Then again, it was interesting how Cookson built up the character of Irene/Reenee when she barely spoke. In a way that was why Bella was the best character, because you needed her to be Reenee's voice.
I think you get a good sense of the time period that this story is set in. My understanding is that Cookson is good at this time period setting; I love books where you can really feel the era they're set.
I didn't like the way that all the characters ended up getting together at the end. It just comes across as a little unnecessary and convenient. They were all living in the big house and its grounds which just felt a little unrealistic. Given the tone of the rest of the book, I think it needed a rather more sober ending.
Book 73 was for Week 42 of the Reading Challenge, a graphic novel. A friend had offered to lend me a graphic novel but it wasn't available in time so I improvised with a novel which has a lot of pictures, Dinotopia written and illustrated by James Gurney.
This is a truly beautiful book (which I received as an 8th birthday present from my grandparents), about a man and his son who find themselves shipwrecked on a strange island where humans and dinosaurs live together in (relative) harmony. You may be familiar with it from the awful TV series that was on Sky some years ago. The book is better.
Seriously, look at this:
I think when a book is filled with pictures like this, it definitely counts as a graphic novel. I honestly spent as much time examining the pictures as I did reading the text.
I've never actually realised that this book is the first in a series. It never dawned on me that it ended so abruptly because there was another book to follow it. I really want to get my hands on the rest of the series, but I guess unless I stumble across any of them in a charity shop, that's not likely to happen any time soon. I would love it if they could just release all of them in a single volume edition. I would treasure it as much as my illustrated The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.
I'd love to know more about Dinotopian culture, language and the way of life. It's such a richly imagined world that I'm sure it's covered in the later books.
And like I said before, it's just beautiful.