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Showing posts from October, 2015

A brief detour from the arbitrary

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Not a new favourite

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I read 'Forever Yours' as quickly as possible, not out of enjoyment but because I needed it to finish.

In my earlier post, I talked about how the violence seemed excessive, apparently designed as a way to elevate the inevitable happy ending.  It all felt mechanical, plot-driven rather than built on character development.

This paragraph is my favourite in the whole book:

He'd come across a couple of youths a few summers ago - ne'er-do-wells. by the look of them.  They'd netted and captured a good number of lapwings and had been busy cutting out their hearts, brains and eyes to be enclosed in necklaces which they sold, saying it would profit the wearer against forgetfulness, kidney trouble and the slow workings of the body.  Another old wives' tale.  To see the remains of the beautiful dark plumage shot with iridescent specks of metallic turquoise and the blood and bones had sent him fair mad.  Even their own mothers wouldn't have recognised them by the time he&…

This is what old ladies read?!

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Working in a library means spending a lot of time shelving family sagas.  Old ladies love them.  The covers usually look something like this, the very typical cover of my current arbitrary read, 'Forever Yours' by Rita Bradshaw:


It's so cliched: the pretty young woman in front of a vaguely old-fashioned landscape, here of the urban North persuasion.  You get a lot of the nurse/midwife stories that look similar too.
It may surprise you to hear that I never picked up one of these books for a casual read.  I just assumed that they would be twee stories about marriages and babies, with perhaps a few characters sacrificed to TB for the sake of some easy tears.
I can't speak for other books in this genre but 'Forever Yours' really does not fit into that description.  It's something far far worse.
Within the first three pages, we learn about a 7-year-old boy sexually abused by his mother.  By the end of the chapter, two characters have been murdered.  One hundred page…