Book review

Book review

Book Review

If books were edible, this would be your menu of choice. A menu that helps you deviate from the 2 burgers for £3 option and tuck straight in to the pompous "Tarte aux fraises" of books.

Diane Setterfield - The Thirteenth Tale

February Book reviewsPosted by JJ Tue, February 02, 2010 05:12:26
A review from Cosmopolitan Magazine (dont judge me), written on the back of this book says: "Start reading this on the bus and, I swear, you wont only miss your stop, you might even lose the whole day".

Well, travelling as I was (albeit on the London Underground rather than a bus), reading this book I did miss my stop...and ended up in Morden.

As it turns out, Morden isn't a bad setting for reviewing a book like this....

For those of you who dont know morden, it is a small town which both geographically and socially is based between the very run down Mitcham and very upper class Wimbledon in South West London, England. It doesn't have much to shout about, it's one stop on from South Wimbledon (my stop at the time) and it is the end of the Northern line on the Underground. It has about 2 pubs, one of which is an "interesting" Irish themed bar.

So onto the book - we have already established that it is a page turner, and a gripping one at that. It's interesting that the main character (Margaret Lea) who 'writes' the book, mentions that she finds herself so engrossed in reading a great novel that she can be oblivious to anything else around you, as the reader I certainly got this.

The story takes you through many twists and turns, and is a story within itself. Like Morden (this is the clever bit!) at first it seems very plain on the outside, but the further you get into it, or walk around it (in Morden's case), the more parts of this unique story (place) begin to unravel.

Morden has lots of parks/commons surrounding itself, and although pretty in their own right, still carry the distinctive stamp of the town on them, with both the clientele that use them (not everyone I hasten to add), and the graffiti/litter left through time around them.

The book is very similar in this way, although it has lots of different settings, the characteristic of the book runs consistently through each one, with the characters and their circumstances blisffuly having an impact on each location by their actions through various ages.

One street I walked down in Morden seemed to look like any other. a few run down houses on either side, with shabby cars in the driveway, when all of a sudden it seemed to take a sudden change and turn into a peaceful suburban neighbourhood. The houses seemed to get grander, the gardens bigger and the cars smarter. It started to look quite posh, but then right at the end, was a primary school, it didn't look run down and it didn't look posh; rather unusually besides these facts, it stood out. It was normal, and it made Morden seem to me a place where any person could settle, whether rich or poor.

This is similar to the book as well. As it nears the dramatic all explaining end it has been promising, it looks like it's going to go down a predictable route and be hugely disappointing, then it twists and takes you fully by surprise, then twists again back to reality and this makes it just simply unique!

It is a fitting end to a brilliantly written book, and leaves you anything but disappointed...can the same be said for Morden? Why not brave it one day and find out.

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