Saturday, 15 October 2016

26 Books: A Book with a Colour in the Title

So, keeping up with the 26 books challenge! If only we'd actually posted this during the year is was aimed at... It means no one's interested as they're all doing 26 Books 2016. Sad times :( Anyway, here it is:
A Book with a COLOUR in the Title!

This would have number 9 in Bringing Up Burns Challenge 2015.

'Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Cafe' by Fannie Flagg (E): Well, I had written a nice review for 'A Spool of Blue Thread,' but it felt like we needed some variety. So I sought out another 'colour' book (I hadn't happened to read any others), and decided on a real classic.

I'd never really heard anything about this book apart from the name, the fact it was set in the US, and that I thought it had been into a film. So, it was quite exciting to read a book I knew so little about! own mother in an people's home - this is Evelyn's escape from her Mother in law! Mrs Threadgoode's story is much more exhilarating - the tale of tomboy Idgie and her friend Ruth who ran a cafe that sold (you guessed it) damn good fried green tomatoes. (I'd never come across them before. Are they a purely American thing?)
It's the story of Mrs Threadgoode telling her life story to Evelyn, the wife of someone visiting his

People seem to be highly interested in the question of 'were Ruth and Idgie lesbians?' I really think it doesn't matter. They were truly good friends, and that's all we know. It's all I assumed really, living back in the 1950s.

It's an easy read, although it took me a long time, because I couldn't really get into it. The intertwining relationships left me a bit cold if I'm honest. I was actually more interested in the 1980s story of Mrs Threadgoode (Ninny) and Evelyn - the way that the telling and listening to of the story changed both their lives. Evelyn has a brief release from her depressed slump, and that made me feel something. That was life affirming.

Overall, it was disappointing, I hate to dislike classic classics and go against popular opinion, but it wasn't for me. I'm not saying it was a bad book, I just wasn't enthralled. Maybe it would appeal more with a British setting, so I felt more of a connection. A lot of the references were American, and made little sense to me. I feel I've let the author down by not enjoying it and, perhaps, by being not open enough to American 50s culture? Not good, E, not good.

'A Spool of Blue Thread' by Anne Tyler (J): I think this was a perfect book. I know that is the general opinion, but never mind. I had some of the same feelings as I did when reading The Goldfinch last year, that is: I am in safe hands here. This author knows what she is doing and I trust her entirely to lead me in a way that will be entirely satisfactory. 

And I find it particularly interesting that these two books by top-of-their-form American women should both conjure up this feeling, as their subject matter is antithetical to each other. Donna Tart writes about people who are leading lives and having experiences that no-one I know is, and often I ask myself as I'm reading, "Has DT herself taken that many drugs or spent that much of her life drunk to be able to write about that experience?". Anne Tyler on the other hand writes about families doing the things that all families do: everyone I know has these lives (normal on the surface, tortured underneath, but it's not really torture, it's just life). And both are compelling. Is it cleverer to make ordinary life compelling?
It doesn't matter. What I like best is the writing, the use of words.
Thank you Anne T.

A also read 'A Spool of Thread' and, likewise, really enjoyed it. 

'til next time! x

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