Mrs N has a hangover, a book hangover! You know the kind, when you finish a really good book and you just cannot stop thinking about it. The characters, the settings, the language, the climax, the plot twists, did it all go down like you thought it would? Or, as is the case with Mrs N this week, was it quite simply so compelling and evocatively written that, despite having been desperate to know the outcome, now that it has in fact ended, you just cannot bear to let it go? It’s a weird feeling.
Occasionally a film or television series will grip and affect you in a similar manner (think Homeland, Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, The Following…),but, in Mrs N’s opinion, because a book always plays out in your head rather than on a screen (and let’s face it, it is a rarity to find a screen adaptation that doesn’t tear a text apart, take liberties with characters and reassemble it all in a manner most likely to score big at the Box Office) which is why a book gets embedded in your mind, deeper in many ways because it is your personal visualisation of the text, sure the Author described the minutiae of each scene, but your mind added into the picture the way the light glinted off the surfaces, the perfume of the setting, the underlying soundtrack to each chapter, the way the characters move, smells, sounds, noises – all these little things add to make the book resonate with you, the Reader.
We’ve found it’s not necessarily genre specific either, a crime thriller can hold the head equally as well as one of the Classics or a story of human endeavour; autobiographies by their very nature can stay with you long after the final page. Historical novels or real life accounts can sometimes pop back into your head at unexpected moments, triggering emotive responses: recently this happened when Miss N was researching World War 1 poets for a school project, a GCSE English lit class came flooding back with the horrifying words of Sassoon and Owen, detailing war in the trenches echoing around Mrs N’s head – took her mind right back to her old school which was in fact used by the Germans as a hospital during the occupation of Jersey during WW2 *digression, apologies!*– the smell of the old building, the ghost stories repeated at break times, friendship groups, history lessons…a lost half hour ensued and all because of the memory of a book studied in detail over 20 years earlier!
What was the last book that you read and truly lost yourself in? Mrs N has just finished ‘The Goldfinch’ by Donna Tartt, whilst Mrs W is halfway through reading another Donna Tartt book – ‘The Secret History’. Do you find that once you have finished one of these ‘hangover inducing’ books that you can move on to another one quickly or do you too take time to adjust? Mrs N will quite often zip through something light and fluffy, almost as a palate cleanser, after an epic book, do you do this too? Recommendations for good books to read are always welcome here, any genre, any time! My name is Mrs N and I am 100% a book addict!