Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Everyday Life

I was hit hard by a stomach bug last night- Bleh! Bleh! and Bleh! Now that I'm in the weak but recovering on the couch stage, I have just enough energy to share the last book I read- The Secret Intensity of Everyday Life by William Nicholson.

This novel takes place over the course of a week in the lives of various characters that live in one English country village. I was originally expecting it to be full of charming, traditional British village scenes, with tweed and wellies and walks through the woods. I was a little disappointed to find that this is definitely not that kind of book, but my disappointment didn't last long once I realized that everything else about it was really, really good.

Each chapter dips into a different character's perspective. Each voice the author uses is very different, but right on the mark for each character. As the stories of the different characters unfold, we see the gap between what's going on in their internal lives and how they're perceived by others. It's very wall done, and even veers into slight Virginia Woolf-like territory at some points, like during a chapter that gives a stream-of-consciousness view of one character's shopping trip.

I think I may just have made this book seem kind of heavy and boring, but it's not, I promise.

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