Tuesday, 24 July 2012

tuesday titles 007..

Summertime, Rafaella Barker
I have this weird compulsion. I cannot stop reading a book halfway through, no matter how much I may not be enjoying it. Sometimes I wish I could, as it can take a while to get into a certain style of writing or subject matter. I'm sure I'm not the only one.

I didn't expect this book to be one of the occasions where I wished I could give up. But for whatever reason, I found it a bit of a slog.

Summertime is written as the diary of put-upon mother-of-three, Venetia Summers. Her three children are Giles, Felix and The Beauty, and are also the only three characters I particularly liked. Their eccentricity and amusing outburts sort of made up for the fact that I found Venetia herself a bit annoying. She just didn't seem to do very much. I'm not expecting her to be a superwoman; I realise that being mother to three kids and trying to avoid having too much to do with an annoying ex-husband isn't going to leave you with a lot of spare time. But I felt that she spent most of her time throughout the book moping around after boyfriend, David, who was working away in the jungle.

Somehow, she seems to let her brother and his fiancee arrange to hold their (shambolic) wedding in her garden, as well as being proposed to by one of her neighbours. None of these characters particularly interested me either, if I'm honest.

Maybe I'm being unfair, but I kept expecting this book to go somewhere other than the school run. I understand that it's the sequel to another title, Hen's Dancing, so maybe having not read that one I've missed something. But I found it all a bit "meh" and wasn't really sad when I got to the end.


  1. You're not the only one, I'm exactly the same - life's to short to read bad books though really isn't it?

    I have to say there doesn't sound much of a plot to this, and I don't think I could identify much with characters with names like Venetia, Giles, Felix and ... The Beauty(WTF?!)!

  2. I always remember what my old English teacher said in secondary school - lifes too short to read bad books you can't get into, so if you're not feeling a book by about the third chapter give up with it. It's a motto that's always stuck with me. I had to give up on a book last night, I just couldn't get my teeth into it.