Monday, 7 July 2014

September - May: A Bookish Tour (Part 3)

I've already done two of these posts (here and here) - basically, I'm mini-reviewing the books I read during my hiatus. 

The Pumpkin Eater by Penelope Mortimer

Peter, Peter, pumpkin-eater,
Had a wife and couldn't keep her;
He put her in a pumpkin shell,
And there he kept her very well.

The Pumpkin Eater begins as the narrator talks to a psychiatrist about her unconventional life with her fourth husband, a screenwriter, and her large number of children. The book moves back and forward between past and present are we are presented with a beautiful, heartbreaking picture of a life spent in doubt and love, hatred and confusion.

The Pumpkin Eater: memorable. Beautiful. Confusing. Harrowing. Disturbing. I picked this up from the bookshelf, attracted by the title, and totally not expecting what I got: which was a strange story that shook me and imprinted itself on my mind. Would I recommend it? Yes. But prepare to be upset. And confused. (Sorry for the fairly rubbish review. It's a strange book.)

The Library of Unrequited Love by Sophie Divry

A tiny novella, The Library of Unrequited Love is a one-sided conversation from a librarian to a reader who wakes up in the morning to find that they unwittingly fell asleep in the library and were locked in. As her words grow strength in a tide of frustration and opinion, she speaks of her work, the history of France (the book is French), and the snobbery of both her colleagues and society. Shining through it all is her unrequited, complete, that-which-she-will-not-admit-is-love for a researcher who frequents the library, and her passion for the books that are her companions.

I absolutely adored this book. When I saw it in the library, I just had to pick it up and it was so worth it - this book was beautifully written, adorable, funny, poignant and utterly engaging. And - and - it was only 95 pages long. Which is a plus, is it not?!! I would 100% recommend it.

Picture Me Gone by Meg Rosoff

Mila is a girl with an unusual talent: she notices things. Do you watch Sherlock? You should. She's like him. But when her father's best friend Matthew goes missing, the pieces don't seem to fall into place for Mila, and so begins a road trip across America to try and find the man who does not seem to want to be found.

What did I think of this book? If you've hung out here at Emily Etc. for any length of time you'll know of my deep, extreme passion for How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff - but, sadly, Picture Me Gone did not live up to this standard. It was well-written and had many interesting themes, but I hardly connected to the narrator and the plot twists didn't seem nearly as hard-hitting or poignant as they were intended - as those in How I Live Now were. However. This was definitely a good book, and I did enjoy it. But I think that, after How I Live Now, my expectations were just too extremely high.

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

Elinor and Marianne Dashwood are two sisters living in a quiet village in the south of England. Sense and Sensibility is a comedy telling their story as they experience friendship, family ties and first love. 

I loved this book a lot! Elinor is my favourite of Austen's heroines - whilst I love Emma Woodhouse and Elizabeth Bennett, she was more consistently sensible and likeable than either of them. I also love Marianne, despite her flaws, because of her deep sensibility (OH MY WORD TYPING THIS I JUST WORKED OUT WHY IT'S CALLED SENSE AND SENSIBILITY, ELINOR IS SENSE AND MARIANNE IS SENSIBILITY) and feeling. In true Austen style, the writing was impeccable, the characterisation brilliant, and the plot satisfying and unexpected (with a fair dose of scandal, too, didn't see that coming). Overall, the bottom line is this: you should read this book!

I hope you're having a good week, and please add at least one of these books to your summer TBR pile! :)

Emily x


  1. Pumpkin Eater sounds interesting. And maybe Picture Me Gone. I'll have to keep a look out for these books. :)

    1. It is interesting, weird and a bit disturbing though. :/

  2. Guess who just nominated you for the Sunshine Award!


  3. I really want to read the Library of Unrequited Love it sounds so cute! ^.^ x


Thanks for commenting! :)