Earlier this week I fell in love with Carrie Rudzinski. As it does, life had to go on in its 'normal' and relatively petty fashion, emails and teaching, parenting and washing clothes, meals followed quickly by more family hunger... But out there are more people who also love Carrie Rudzinski, and one of them filmed her at a poetry slam and posted it on youtube. For me and for you. The fifth one who walked away.
I was going to post about Kate Atkinson's Life after Life. It's a great novel, and her structural technique of the life which is lived again and again with small details making a very big difference, is brilliant. I bet loads of authors want to copy it, but as it's so unique, it's a bit obvious to do so. It's set in London, the Home Counties English countryside and Germany in both world wars. I loved this kind of book from as soon as I was reading adult fiction, and then I loved the 'real' London when I lived there, and now this 'new' book which allows me to sink back into an era and setting which was my very favourite for so long. I loved Ian McEwan's Saturday because it was a modern day setting of a London I had traipsed myself.
Life after Life made me realise that I'd always read up on the horrors of the German bombing of London without thinking that if the Germans lost the war, then their devastation must actually have been worse. I also realised what a narrow time my experiences in London had been demographically, as I'd not known anyone elderly there in an intimate enough fashion to learn about their wartime experiences. We made the beginnings of a friendship with Simi, our neighbour in Gants Hill, but asking an elderly Jewish man about World War Two experiences seemed far too invasive and crass, so I didn't.