Thursday, 31 May 2012

The Song of Achilles and the Orange Prize

It wasn't an easy decision.  The two books lay on the rug, side by side and poles apart.  Our wine glasses were empty, and we were down to the crumbs at the bottom of the crisp bowl. Which book would we choose?

Book group last night was an especially convivial event, enhanced no doubt by the balmy weather and a bottle of sparkling rosé.  Opinions on  Gatsby were divided.  The more we talked, the more I warmed to my theme. Gatsby boring? Never! It's funny, you can know people for years and then one day they let you down. Still, no-one's perfect. Far better a spirited discussion, than nodding sagely into our cups of tea and saying 'it was lovely'.

And then it came to decision time.  We're all too polite to push our suggestions too hard, or to say that we'd rather stick pins in our eyes than read a particular book.  Nor do we have a voting system.  So there they lay, The Song of Achilles and The Red House by Mark Haddon.  Trumpet by Jackie Kay was also mooted, but without a hard copy to peruse the odds were always against it. J. was worried that The Song of Achilles seemed like a 'man's book', but then, think of the cost of the other still in hardback.  After much prevarication we plumped for Achilles, only to discover this morning that it has won the Orange Prize.  It's not like us Lancashire Ladies to be so of the moment.
Madeline Miller collecting her 'Bessie'

And did we make a good choice?  Well, we've read several Orange Prize winners and not been disappointed yet.  We shall have to wait and see.

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