Okay, I must admit, I got kind of stuck with Otter Country. It was all the internal eye-rolling at the overwrought Nice Middle-Class White Lady Deepening Her Connection with Nature stuff. I couldn’t take it after I realised I had another 220 pages of it left. So I did some fun re-reading to cleanse my palate and rejuvenate my interest. In rapid succession, I consumed Douglas Adams’ The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul and Margaret Atwood’s Morning in the Burned House.
I then started Michael Ondaatje’s The Cat’s Table and got completely sucked into the autobiographical narrative. It’s an account of his crossing, by cruise ship, from Sri Lanka to England when he was eleven. His prodigious powers of observation (and diary-keeping) made it an absorbing nostalgic indulgence, written at the request of his children. The navel-gazing and bite-sized, evocative, anecdotal layout of the chapters is exactly to my taste (see: my love for DW and LJ)..
Miriam Darlington’s Otter Country. I’ll give it one more try. I always get the sense she’s just on the brink of using the phrase “spirit animal”. If she does, I’m letting it go.
After that, it’s David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas. I got this for the bloke’s birthday, thinking it was The Bone Clocks. It turns out he’s already read it. Fortunately, his brother got him The Bone Clocks!
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