9th March 2017
Hello and welcome back to my blog! Sooooo remember my monthly book club? Remember when I started it back in October? Remember when I didn’t upload in November? Or December? Or January? Or February? Yeah, unfortunately, me too. Oops! Well, I’m bringing it back and this time it’s here to stay. Probably. I’ve been ridiculously busy these past few months and I’m thoroughly embarrassed to say that reading has taken a backseat. Quite a lot of the reading I’ve done has been part of college work and, quite frankly, I’d rather not talk about that simply to avoid stressing myself out too much. So, my three books this ‘month’ will actually be a selection from the last four, if that’s alright with you! Without further ado, let’s get cracking…
Alice Walker - The Colour Purple
First up, the GLORIOUS, critically acclaimed and important novel ‘The Colour Purple’ by Alice Walker. This is one of those books that makes you see the world differently, exploring the treatment of black women in the segregated deep South of America between the First and Second World Wars. It’s written in a very colloquial style, which certainly took me a while to adapt to, but it’s so vibrant and witty and clever that I just could not put it down. The exploration of the treatment of women is shocking to say the very least, but beautifully complex and intricate. It’s a really gritty story, and not always a pleasant one, but it really brings to life the startling lifestyles of those most oppressed in the society of the day. Each character’s journey is interesting, and you find yourself rooting for pretty much everyone, excited to hear what happens to each person next. The pages honestly turn themselves.
2. The Picture of Dorian Gray
A new entry into my ‘favourite books of all time’ is Oscar Wilde’s simply STUNNING ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’. I can only describe this as a really pleasurable read, as every sentence is so intricately crafted and well-executed. Wilde’s novel follows the frivolous adventures of the English aristocracy and, particularly the immortally youthful Dorian Gray, but that’s all I can say without giving away too much. The story itself had me gripped, and, yet again, I couldn’t put the book down. This was one of the first times that a book actually genuinely shocked me to the point where I found my jaw-dropping (in the middle of a busy train carriage as well, may I add). ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’ is a must-read for anyone who loves a good crime or drama story and inspired me massively.
The Bell Jar
I first came across Sylvia Plath through her poetry which I studied in my English Literature class. I actually wrote my coursework on her poems ‘The Babysitters’ and ‘Night Shift’, which I fell a little tiny bit in love with. Having really enjoyed these poems, I decided to venture further and buy her novel, ‘The Bell Jar’, and I certainly was not disappointed. The tone of the narrative feels very much semi-autobiographical, exploring a woman’s deteriorating mental health, battles with depression and the feeling of simply not being good enough. It’s a really interesting take on life after education; what you do once you’re left to fend for yourself. Tackling such hard-hitting themes was always going to be difficult, but Plath does it in such a raw and intimate way that her own emotions are tangible. ‘The Bell Jar’ has been labelled a ‘modern classic’ and definitely deserves such exultation and more.
And that concludes the March Book Club! Of course, I could write about these books all day, but I don’t want to ruin them for you. Please do let me know if you’ve read any of these books and, if so, what you thought – I’d love to hear your own interpretations! Either pop me an email (on my Contact page) or tweet me @jackbenedwards. Thanks very much for reading, have a lovely day and, until next time, goodbye!
By Jack Edwards