The Cat by Colette
I adore cats, and I adore French literature, so when I spotted this wonderfully titled novella in Black Gull Books on a trip to Camden last week, I just had to have it. There is some gorgeous imagery in The Cat, and some absolutely wonderful scenes. Colette’s writing is stunning, and one gets the feeling that it has been perfectly translated too. It (probably) goes without saying that my favourite character here was Saha, the cat of the book’s title. I felt that she had been perfectly captured, and her actions and mannerisms were so realistic. Colette’s descriptions of Paris, too, are leaving me longing to go back.
The way in which Colette presented male opinions and apprehensions about marriage was incredibly interesting, and so believable, I think. This element stopped the story being merely a collection of commonplace musings upon matters of the heart, and brought in some thought-provoking scenes. The psychological aspects which she weaves in are so well executed, and Colette illustrates wonderfully the power which our animals have over us. All in all, The Cat is a glorious little novella – stunning and rather short, but perfectly written and portrayed.
Brett Helquist is the marvellous illustrator of ‘ASOUE’
The Miserable Mill by Lemony Snicket
I am so enjoying reading my way through Lemony Snicket’s ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’, which I for some reason missed when I was a child. The Miserable Mill is the fourth in the series (or ‘Book the Fourth’, as the title states), and it is one of the most fun to date. The entire series is crammed to the very top with peril, adventure and the unexpected, and the most wonderful amalgamation of words, which my child self would have delighted over. I love the Baudelaire children as a unit, and the way in which their particular skill sets allow them to be such a good team is really quite adorable. The writing style of these tales too is wonderful, as is the way in which they appeal to both children and adults. I shall move swiftly onto Book the Fifth as soon as I can get my hands on it.
The Bracelets by Maria Edgeworth
I have been wanting to read Edgeworth’s work for quite some time now, and jumped at the chance of downloading some of her books onto my Kindle. In retrospect, I don’t think this is her best book to begin with, as it is certainly not making me want to carry on with her longer works. The storyline here is rather odd, and it feels too old fashioned at times, even for a novella written in 1850. I struggle to sum up what the story is about, as it merely felt like an entire heap of young girls proclaiming their undying love and then sudden hatred of each other, and all vying to get their hands on a bracelet made of plaited hair. Eww. Edgeworth’s writing is lovely – that I do not dispute – but I am loath to enjoy books with obvious morals tacked onto the end of them, and sadly, The Bracelets falls into that camp.