Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Mini - Comments

And now a small comment on two books I've read recently and of which I don't have much to talk about...

This is a small book (under 150 pages) written by a Portuguese author, focused on the story of an actress who feels eh won't have a real break since she is in her 30s already and one day she goes to an audition, just to prove to herself she is still trying and, incredibly, she seems to be chosen by the play writer to be the protagonist. She then develops a close relationship with the other actor who will be in the play and, later on, with the play writer too. 

The story, whose title we could translate for "the lake", was filled with references to the world of arts and plays and what it must be like to live and breathe that world. I found some passages interesting and motivating but the writing style is definitely one focused on introspection which made the characters feel unreal and hard to empathize or connect with. By the end of the story, whose setting was most of the time the house at the lake one of the characters owned, I wasn't any closer to feel their struggles nor their emotional deficiencies. It was a good enough book to have an idea of the author's style but I didn't find it enjoyable to read..
Grade: 4/10

Desmond and Deirdre Doyle's silver wedding anniversary is drawing ever closer, and it falls to the couple's eldest daughter, Anna, to decide how best to commemorate the big day.
No use asking her sister Helen, living in her London convent, or her brother Brendan, who has chosen exile on a bleak farm in the west of Ireland.
But it is unthinkable not to have a party, even though for the Doyles, family occasions are more difficult than for most. And as the day draws nearer, so the tension mounts, until finally the guests gather at the party itself...

Silver Wedding is a book written by Maeve Binchy in 1988 and it does meet the idea I had of her writing before I read other two books by her. Heart and Soul and Minding Frankie surprised me by how uplifting some situations actually were, even among more serious or dramatic subjects, when I thought this author's style was more on the depressing/drama side. Well, this fit that bill in a more obvious way, since all the characters seem to have some sort of issue in their lives and that affects how they go on. 

The story presents us several characters, whose POVs we have in each chapter. They are sharing their thoughts since there's a party to plan and we have the point of view of the couple, of their three children and other characters somehow connected to them. Although each chapter is "narrated" by one individual we can still follow the sequence of events leading to the party, while also learning things about the past of everyone. I liked the novel but it was a bit too sad at times, in the sense the characters had a lot they wish they could change or that affected them more negatively than positively. I'll read more by the author but this won't be a favorite for certain.
Grade: 6/10

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