Garp, Fury and Kittens (on the road to 52 books a year!)

Easter is a time for families. This year, for the first time in 15 years, I was able to spend Easter with my parents. I was travelling by train and also then having some rest times as part of it, so I wanted to choose the perfect book. You know the kind – not too short, not too heavy, absorbing, a ‘meaty’ read, something to get your teeth into, providing food for thought. World according to Garp I’m back from my holiday now, and have just finished The World According to Garp by John Irving, found while browsing the shelves at work one Sunday. It’s 600 pages long, and wholesome to hold and devour! And it’s a novel about a family, the family of TS Garp. I wondered about possible TS Eliot parallels, and I’m still pondering. Garp is the unusually begot son of a feminist nurse, a quirky, sensitive, troubled guy. He wrestles, and I wonder if that’s a symbol of him wrestling with life, as we all must. He’s also a writer, as are many of the other characters in one form or another, and as an aspiring writer, for me to find that in a book is gold. Admittedly, some of the situations in the novel are surreal in their tragic implausibility, but if you are intrigued by topics around feminist activism and protest, sexual politics, the struggles of writers, family dynamics and the nature of life, then I totally recommend this book to you. Yes, it’s the kind of book that really should have been on my reading list at uni [it was first published in 1976, a surprise to me] but don’t let that put you off, as I was chuckling out loud numerous times when reading! It is quite a heavy book, but not THAT heavy. It’s ponderous. Garp was my 18th read so far this year, so I’m well on track for my 52! Other notable books I’ve read this year thus far are The Amber Fury by Natalie Haynes and Solomon’s Kitten by Sheila Jeffries. amber fury The Amber Fury, by Natalie Haynes primarily attracted me by its title, the orange and black cover, and the fact that it’s largely set in a pupil referral unit – as in my previous career I was a teacher and special needs coordinator. It’s also described as a psychological thriller, one of my favourite genres, and is centred around the power of myth, an interest of mine. It didn’t disappoint – and was the real page turner I needed to chunter through in time for my holiday and Garp! There are surprising twists and turns as it explores the power of relationships in all their facets. It didn’t feel as tortured as I might have expected from the blurb, and was sensitively written and conceived. My mother gave me Solomon’s Kitten by Sheila Jeffries for Christmas. She knows I love cats, and miss mine dearly, even years later. This is a totally different book from my usual reads. It’s written from the point of view of a cat, the kitten of a cat who was abandoned. As intuitive as cats are, Solomon’s kitten, Talullah, is no exception. Healing and loving, the humans she reaches never fail to be touched by her. But this is NOT a ‘twee’ book, I didn’t think. It was an emotional read for me, and I was surprised and deeply touched by it.solomon's kitten Katie

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1 Comment

Filed under Book Review, books, reading

One response to “Garp, Fury and Kittens (on the road to 52 books a year!)

  1. The World According to Garp, that book packs a serious wallop!

    Liked by 1 person

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