Undue Influence by Anita Brookner

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This book seems distinctly anachronous. Anita Brookner’s single lady with her own means, inherited London flat, a bit of a job in a bookshop that she doesn’t really need, deceased parents etc seems to belong to a different era than the 1999 world where this book was published. But in among the distinct lack of plot here there’s a Big Issue seller, answering machines and other things that place the book in a time it seems not to fit into very well. It’s all distinctly old fashioned. On the whole I quite like Brookner’s careful take on the world and the measured approach of her characters but this one was just a bit too nothing-y in the end.


More information about this book can be found on goodreads.
This was a paperback.

After the Bombing by Clare Morrall

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This is the sort of book I race through and then wish I’d taken a bit more time to savour it. I’ve liked all Clare Morrall’s previous books and this was no exception. It switches between 1942, in the aftermath of the bombing of Exeter with the story centred on a girl’s boarding school (though it’s not in any way a “girl’s boarding school story”), and then back to the same place in 1963. Only a couple of characters from the earlier story appear in the later one, and putting all the pieces together is one of joys of the book. If I had to make a complaint it would be that I would have liked to know a bit more about some of the other characters in the earlier story, but maybe that would have made it a different book, as it’s the effects of the loss of people and places from our lives, and the fact that everything must change, that makes this so interesting.


More information about this book can be found on goodreads.
This was a kindle eBook.