Monday, 5 December 2016

Read in 2016 - 43: I love Charlotte Bronte

"I love Charlotte Bronte" by Michelle Daly was light entertainment, and I liked the book well enough, although
it had its weaknesses.

First, the story: Colette lives in Liverpool and works as a nurse at a home for the elderly. She likes most of her patients, but one elderly lady in particular becomes her friend: Maisie, who is originally  from Ireland. After a stroke, she has lost the ability to speak, but Colette keeps talking to her. The two women share a love of Charlotte Bronte´s work, in particular of "Jane Eyre".
A few days before Maisie dies, she gives Colette her old diary, and the young nurse learns things about her old friend she never knew. Much to Colette's surprise, Maisie, who did not have children, has left her cottage in Ireland to her.
Colette and her best friend (also a nurse at the home) pack up and move there, without having seen the cottage before. The trip there, the village and its inhabitants, the cottage, the customs and traditions in a world that is very much unlike the Liverpool city life the two young women have been used to - it all makes for some funny incidents, but there is also seriousness in the book.
Colette meets people and sees places from Maisie's past, and manages to connect past and present events.
Of course, two young ladies on their own also means there are romantic interests, but although they are important to the women, this part of the story is not overplayed.

The weaknesses I found were mostly due to careless editing. There weren't many typos at all, but there were a few incidents when I thought "what? who? how? when?", because something was suddenly stated as if it
had been mentioned before, when it clearly had not.
For instance, still at the beginning of the book, all of a sudden we hear that Christmas is over, but the reader never learnt at the start that we enter the story at Christmas time. Also, it is never properly explained why Colette splits up with her boyfriend.

The other (few) things I was not too happy with were simply questions of personal taste: I don't like smoking, and although I do like champagne and cocktails, I don't drink myself into a stupor or do silly things because of the drink (I do enough silly things without!).
The two nurses smoke, and they drink a lot - as seems to be the norm in Ireland. Is this cliché really true, I wonder?
I like things neat and tidy; Colette takes pride in being so chaotic she has to pick up clothes off the floor before anyone can enter the sitting room at the cottage.
So, Colette and I would probably never become close friends in real life, but as I said, it still was a good read.
I like stories where people start over from scratch, and how they handle a new chapter in their lives.

The story covers a full year, ending at Christmas - this time at the cottage in Ireland, and as I finished it just around the time our Christmas Market opened, it could be called my first seasonal read of this year.

I had not heard of this author before, but have since found out that
Michelle Daly is also here on blogger:

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