How I wish I could write like Charlotte Wood! Not surprisingly, this writer has received many accolades for her work, and it’s not hard to see why. The Weekend was shortlisted for the 2020 Stella Prize, and gently weaves together themes of friendship, grief, longing, disappointment, resilience and hope. I knew these characters. I really knew them. I knew what they looked like, how they carried themselves, what made them happy, sad, resentful, and what made them tick. My knees hurt when they walked up the stairs, I could smell the dog and I sensed the frustration of being misunderstood. I was all of these characters, and I was none of these characters. I was in the car, I was in the treehouse, I was by the water. I truly lost myself in this book.
I had read a few reviews of this book that questioned why these characters were friends in the first place. I didn’t question that for a minute. Shared histories and shared memories often drive friendships over time, even as situations and circumstances change. Wood’s characters were flawed and self-obsessed, and very real. The scenario was a perfect device for confronting personal histories, successes and disappointments, while questioning the future. This book is a tribute to those friendships that weren’t discarded when things got tough or when feelings got hurt, but endured and are enduring.
Please find here an assorted mix of what I tend to read - new books, old books, birthday gifts, gifts to myself, books from my to-be-read pile, Book Group books, fiction, non-fiction, memoirs - basically a weird assortment of goodies!
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