Joining with Laura at A Circle of Pines for this month's The Year in Books
Well, of course as the saying goes 'the best laid plans of mice and men' does apply to my reading this month. The books I highlighted as waiting to be read in my April post are still unread because a book I had been waiting for arrived at the library so I've been reading Balancing Act by Joanna Trollope.
Balancing Act is set here, in the Potteries and is the story of a family business going through the motions of change, it is about a woman's place in the home, in the family and in the workplace. It is also about mens' places in the life of the family too. Susie Moran started the Susie Sullivan Pottery when she was in her twenties and built up her empire despite all the pressures on her. Now the business needs to change to survive in today's exacting market place and her three daughters Cara, Ashley and Grace are wanting more power within the company. Grace is a designer in the factory in Hanley in Stoke-on-Trent and the other two daughters are based in London at the firm's main offices. Jasper Moran, Susie's husband is a jazz musician who was happy to stay at home to look after the girls as Susie built up her company. Now he wants to return to the music he loves. Susie's father, Morris who left her as a small child to be brought up by her grandparents returns from Africa. How will Susie cope with all these changes? Will business or family take over. Can she really have both?
I loved reading this book not least because it is mostly set locally to me but also for the way it is written, for the sympathetic depiction of family life and the sincerity of her characters.
I've also been reading the two books on Mow Cop by Philip R Leese. The photo on the top one inspired me to write a story which I sent to a friend who does creative writing to read. He has written another story set about 40 years later using my original characters and creating some more and now I'm going to 'move it on' again into the 1960s. Another family saga is emerging! It is a great way to get the creative juices flowing again as it is about 5 years since I last did any fiction writing.
So for May I still have the books I mentioned in my April post to read if I get around to them. Yesterday I started to read a book I bought from a second hand book shop on holiday.
So far I'm enjoying this crime novel set in Edinburgh a city I've visited only once - I'd love to return one day.