Pardon My French

Je suis bloody well fed up! For one thing it has been raining all day and it feels more like November than June, so we’ve been stuck in the house. I wonder which is worse, being stuck indoors because it’s cold and miserable or not being able to go out because it’s inhumanely hot? I’m not likely to find out anyway.

Apart from that the book that I started yesterday has turned out to be one of the very few that I’ve given up on. I usually struggle on with books and sometimes I’m pleasantly surprised at the end of them. Other times I just harrumph all the way through and at the end turn it around to look at the front cover, I think I probably have a sort of I’ll know you next time and you’ll never darken my door again look on my face.

Anyway, what with the weather and everything I can’t be doing with that sort of book so I’m ‘shelving’ Margaret Forster’s Diary of an Ordinary Woman at the moment. I’ll go back to it if someone can tell me that it’s worthwhile ploughing on with it. I bought it at the last library book sale.

When I read the introduction I really didn’t like the idea of it at all because it’s a fictional diary purporting to be a real one which was written by a woman who was born in 1901 and she is now 98 years old. Forster even has the fictional woman telling her that she told no lies in her diary – but it’s fiction.

I reached page 87 and so far the whole thing just seems implausible to me. Firstly the diary writer, Millicent is one of a family of seven children, she is the third one and we are supposed to believe that she was allowed to go to teacher training college after leaving school. Considering that the family is not a very wealthy one, the father has some sort of furniture making/selling business which isn’t doing all that well because of the Great War, I seriously doubt if any daughter would even have been allowed to stay on at school past the age of 14. She would have been expected to help with the family budget and would almost certainly have had to work in her father’s shop for pocket money only.

There is an even more unlikely happening involving the mother of the family later on and I can’t suspend my disbelief any more. I also think that it’s the sort of book which could be written by just about anybody who has read a few books and is interested in writing. They’d probably make a better job of it too.

Anyway, grump over.

I’m just starting Patrick Hamilton’s The Slaves of Solitude. I have high hopes.