Friday, September 24, 2010

The ghost of a tree

Sorry for the absence! I have been in Ohio visiting the boyfriend on a little vacation and had a wonderful time. And I somehow managed to get a ton of reading done, so be ready for some updates this week!

Having loved The Time Traveller's Wife, I knew sooner or later I would get around to this one. The story focuses on twin girls, Julia and Valentia as the inherit the London flat from their mother's estranged twin (Elspeth). We get chapters from so many perspectives, Roberts (Elspeth's lover and downstairs neighbor), Martin (the OCD neighbor upstairs), and Elspeth herself, a ghost trapped in the apartment with the twins.

"I think perhaps if that sort of thing does happen - ghosts - it must be more beautiful, more surprising than all those tales would have us believe."

Valentina and Julia are so wrapped up in each other that at the beginning neither can do anything without the other, though one may want to. They explore London and the graveyard next door to their flat where Robert works and which houses Elspeth's tomb. And then Elspeth finds a way to communicate with the twins and things get very complicated. Valentina starts a romantic relationship with Robert while Julia starts taking daily tea with Martin and Elspeth's ghost continues to scheme, trapped in the apartment.

"Everything in the room seemed to have been drained of colour. Julia wondered is the colour had all collected somewhere else, perhaps it was in some closet, and when they opened that door it would all flood back into the objects it had deserted."

I really enjoyed this book and had to stay up super late finishing it, however, the ending left me a little underwhelmed. The twists and turns were gripping, but I just cannot help but feel a little let down. The characters were wonderful though, and maybe I just missed something since I was reading so late.

In other news, the poll has closed and I am left with a tie! Bleak House and The Idiot both had the most votes so I will just have to read them both. Luckily Geoff had a copy of Bleak House on hand and I'm already working my way through it. I was alarmed to look at my bookcases and not find the copy of The Idiot I wanted on my Russian shelves so I may have to dig through the boxes to find it. Or I might just have to read the paperback version I found at a garage sale. I am still working my way through Dead Souls by Gogol, so The Idiot will just have to wait a little longer.

Coming up this week: a book of short stories, another graphic novel, a book that just may be in my top ten faves, and thoughts on finishing my first audio-book ever.

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