Then, in my never-ending quest for books to lighten the prevailing gloom, I re-read Cluny Brown, and if you want to cheer yourself up, then Margery Sharp's 1940s parlour maid who doesn't know her place is the answer to your prayers. I defy anyone not to laugh out loud. I also enjoyed Jan Carson's new book of linked short stories, The Last Resort, set in a surreal Ballycastle caravan park. I always like her writing, but this format was especially pleasing: maybe it's just age that has fragmented my brain lately (although I suspect Covid is also to blame: people a lot younger than I am are reporting the same lack of concentration) but it's a bit like having a mental ulcer - right now I need small, regular, nourishing dollops of stories, not indigestible 500 page novels.
Staying local, I have Sue Divin's highly-praised Guard Your Heart to look forward to, as well as The End of the World is a Cul de Sac (my title of the year) by Louise Kennedy. Having read her brilliant short story, Hunger, earlier in the year, I've been dying to get my hands on this one.
|Istanbul's covered market|