Together in Spirit

An online reading group ('TIS a reading group!) to bring together friends, and friends of friends, who aren't able to be in a conventional reading group due to constraints of time or geography.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Don't read this if you don't want to know what happens!

Having just finished ‘ When I lived I Lived in Modern Times’ I am left with the question, why did this book win the Orange prize? The cover picture of a woman disembarking from a ship made me assume it was another ‘Small Island’, which I have recently read and enjoyed even if I did not enthuse. (I do sometimes!) The theme of the return of Jewish people to Palestine, following the Holocaust, raised my interest considerably, as this would be a perspective about which I know very little. However, I am sorry that although there were many facts gleaned about the relative position of the indigenous Arabs, the Jews who returned before the war, and the British trying to keep control and the use of terror to drive the British home (what’s new?), I could not summon up much interest in the story. Did I care much about the characters? Not a lot. I could have done with a happy ending. E.g.Johnny and Evelyn lived happily ever after. That would suit the weight of the novel. But Johnny an air steward? I don’t think so. So all in all a subject with promise but one dimensional characters and not enough of everything else.