Stoner and All the Beggars Riding

Books Thirteen and Fourteen

Stoner by John Williams is my book club book of the month.  I knew I was going to struggle with the book that followed “This is where I am” as I loved it and often I find that the next few books through no fault of their own don’t quite measure up.  This did happen on both books but through really no fault of their own.  More to my mood and where I was at the time.

I found Stoner quite strange in that the forward to the book already told the story which left me wondering since I knew what happened if there was any point reading the book? So I really found the first few chapters of the book hard going.  If it hadn’t been my book club book in all honesty I might not have persevered but I did and it was worth it.  Stoner is about the life of a university lecturer in the USA who is in a loveless marriage and also through no fault of his own faces an adversity at work.  What it said to me and also mirroring my current mood is that life is too short.  The impact of the marriage didn’t just affect the couple it affected their daughter who I perhaps felt saddest for as she never really had a chance to evolve as a person.  I felt deeply sorry for Stoner by the end of the book but also felt he could have done more to change how his life was.

“All the beggars riding” by Lucy Caldwell is about a women in her late 30’s whose mother has just died and whose long-term relationship has just broken up!  As many of us find at times when we hurt it causes you to look back at your past.  Lara has a troubled past.  Her father died when she was young. When he did, though she had her suspicions before, she discovered her mother was the mistress and he had another family back in Belfast.  What follows is her in the present day addressing her feelings about her parents, trying to see it from her mother’s point of view and connecting with the “official” family in Belfast.  Really gripping book which I read in 24 hours.  Fascinated in particular regarding the feelings of the one person who does not really get a voice in the book which is her father’s wife.  Worth reading though be prepared that if you start you might find yourself losing a day to read it.

On to book fifteen which comes highly recommended.


About fionadranesblog

40 plus mum of two married with a mad cocker spaniel. Along with two colleagues run Bright Light Marketing a rural marketing agency who specialise in getting rural businesss noticed. Live in St Boswells in the wonderful Scottish Borders. Love books, walking and living life to the full here in the Scottish Borders though its sometimes a juggle!
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