“Oh Sylvie,” Hugh said sadly. “Where is your heart?”
For the Dock C Book Club “Beginning of the Season” Selection
I didn’t know anything about this one when a friend suggested that we read it together. I committed it to our informal book club* of readers on the boat dock and dived right in.
It’s pretty obvious from the first quotes that it will have a Groundhog Day feel to it – but not that kind of funny. This book is not a comedy even though it isn’t all dark and dramatic, either. I thought it a terrific read.
“What if some day or night a demon were to steal after you into your loneliest loneliness and say to you: “This life as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more” … Would you not throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse the demon who spoke thus? Or have you once experienced a tremendous moment when you would have answered him: “You are a god and never have I heard anything more divine.”
– Neitzshe, The Gay Science
The quote above was the in the Introduction to the story. I must have reread this a few times and the beginning of the book a few times more before I allowed myself to settle in and enjoy the ride. Because it did take a bit of concentration – a ‘paying of attention’, especially of the dates for they repeat often. The title 11 February 1910 is used a LOT. But settle in, I did. And I was unable to or grumbly about the times I had to interrupt my reading to do other things. I wanted to read this in one sitting if I could. It helped get me back to a rhythm of reading that I had been missing in the few weeks prior.
“To have so little self-doubt, she thought, what a thing that must be.”
Ursula Todd is a sensible character and I really liked her. I cried with her; I cheered for her. If one can wish for rest for a fictional character, I’d do that, too.
Five slices of pie. Meat pies, pork pies, plum pies and mince.
“They bought meat pies and fried potatoes and apple turnovers and ate them sitting on a rug on the sand with backs against the rocks.”
“Ursula made an abstemious** cottage pie, followed by baked apples and custard.”
I think I will be reading more Kate Atkinson. Any suggestions?
“Ursula was left to stare at the floral wallpaper. She had never noticed before that the flowers were wisteria, the same flower that grew on the arch over the back porch. This must be what in literature was referred to as “deflowering,” she thought. It had always sounded like a rather pretty word.”
PLEASE CLICK OVER TO the BOOK FOOL’s review cuz it is awesome and will tell you much more about this cool book…
* My Dock C Book Club has never officially met to discuss a book. Yet. We’ve read The Reliable Wife and Gone Girl.
** abstemious – marked by restraint, especially in the consumption of food or alcohol; also : reflecting such restraint.