Difficult Choices for Book Week Scotland
Julie Robinson from the SRUC Aberdeen campus found choosing just one book for Book Week Scotland quite a challenge, so instead she chose three.
Being asked to choose my favourite book is like being asked to choose my favourite child, impossible! So I haven’t chosen one book, I’ve chosen three (it would be four but I couldn’t find one of them).
The first is the one I read the longest ago so it’s the haziest….The Bone People is by a New Zealand writer called Keri Hulme. It is set in New Zealand and centres around three people, a woman called Kerewin Holmes who lives in isolation in a tower, a Maori man called Joe with a drink problem who is prone to violence and a small boy who appears on a beach and is unable to speak. Their stories become intertwined in the most gripping way. If you like interesting characters and mystery you’ll love this book. It’s also beautifully written.
Book number two is the biggest book of the three; A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. The central character of the book, Owen Meany, is much smaller than the other children and has a very strange speaking voice which John Irving cleverly emphasises by using block capitals whenever he speaks. He’s a strange character and throughout the book he displays repetitive behaviours that don’t make any sense until the very end when all becomes clear. It’s a big book and took me a good couple of hundred pages to get into it but I am so glad I did as the rewards are enormous. The ending had me in tears.
And last but by no means least, All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. Set in France and Germany in the Second World War it follows the story of Marie-Laure, a young blind girl living in Paris with her father who makes locks for the Museum and Werner a young German boy growing up in a children’s home who’s skill with electronics leads him to fashion his own radio and with it a window to the outside world. Both children’s lives are changed with the outbreak of war – Marie-Laure flees Paris for Saint-Malo and Werner joins the Hilter Youth. It is a gripping story, beautifully written and I could not put it down.