Saturday, April 25, 2009

Bossy Capricorn's Book Review

A few weeks back I ran out of things to read and pleaded for recommendations from friends. Reading recommendations are a dodgy thing as tastes are so idiosyncratic. I have a preference for nonfiction. I am also pretty intolerant of bad or uninteresting writing. Things I have loved and recommended to others have fallen flat. Then, as a smitten reader, you are left trying to decide if the book was faulty or the friend you recommended it to is ignorant.

Despite my predilection for nonfiction I read a novel that was recommended to me- Penelope Lively's The Photograph. While it was a bit slow to start, it sucked me in rather quickly and deposited me back into my life after a rather disturbing ending. Without giving away the whole book - a husband finds a compromising photo of his wife several years after her death. He then tries to figure out the mystery of her by tracking down family members and the players from the photograph.

The disturbing part of the book is that mystery of how well you ever know anyone, even those you are the most intimate with. So often people project on to others their own views and don't bother to really look or listen. There is also that more benign negligence of thinking you know someone simply because you have known them for years.

I suppose this need to know people better should also be tempered by the horrifying aspects of knowing someone well. I am not sure where I fall on this spectrum, but this book certainly churned up a lot of thought on the subject.

Two thumbs up from the Bossy Capricorn. Get thee to a library!


Michelle said...

Bossy title for blog?
How well do you really know anyone? I can personally attest to that! I have been blindsided many times by people I thought I knew.

SMC said...

Well- it refers to my reading list in the left column and Bossy Capricorn is just redundant.