Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Cora Takes The Train

And who is at the controls?


We have reached the second part of our book selection for February, The London Train.  Now we meet Cora, who has gone back to her family home in Wales after leaving her husband Robert.  It seems she is trying to make a different life for herself, with a new job and a newly remodeled home.  Now Robert has come after her, ostensibly to discuss financial matters of their divorce.  Very soon after his arrival he seems to be moving about as if he owns the place. As if "nothing could shake his hierarchy of importance". 
This portion of the book is full of the author, Tessa Hadley's favorite fictional arena, the family, the setting, the relationships and their imagery. In this book, she seems to continually show us what is going on now with the characters, but then very carefully weaves in the back story. once we know why Cora is confining herself in the new library job and why she reads the books she reads. But what is the pain she seeks anesthesia for?
While reading about Ms. Hadley, I came across a quote, which, after reading, I think made this book more interesting. "Novels see things through.  The fiction writer's ambition....to take the imprint of the passing moments, capture it in the right words, keep it for for the future to read."
So as we welcome Cora's Sister in Law Frankie, and her brood to the pristine new house in Wales for a visit, we watch the beginning of Cora's latest journey. Once again, it is the story.
I can't leave you today without mentioning two important literary events taking place this week.  The first, two hundred years ago, the publication of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, another novel about the search for self.  The second, English author Hilary Mantel, author of Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies has won her third major literary prize, the Costa Prize for the book of the year.  Although I still question exactly what these prizes mean, I do feel that this, combined with my personal love of her second book, will make it a real short list favorite for a CapRadio Reads selection in the future.
Only two weeks until our next meeting in the Community Room at Capital Public Radio.  Be sure and  Sign Up Here  for a seat at the table.  See you there.

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