But sadly, not at all as satisfying as the last. To be fair, it possibly suffered from comparison with The Childrens Book and I don’t seem to be the only one in feeling that it was in a different league altogether.
The Very Thought of You was my book group’s choice for last night’s meeting and as usual, I feared that I would be there with my usual excuses of not having read the whole book before I got there. Actually, I started it just the previous day and found it such an easy read that I’d finished it well beforehand.
Rosie Alison’s first novel was shortlisted for the Orange Prize, which seemed to be a good indicator of a quality read with plenty of “meat” for discussion. That there was plenty to discuss was accurate, but most of us felt it was a slight, under-developed novel with little shape to the plot. After the riches of AS Byatt’s fully formed and greatly detailed work, this seemed to be a dandelion puff in the wind, which was disappointing. Reading around the blogs and review pages, it would appear that most agree that it’s outclassed by the other Orange Prize shortlisters, which we found hardly surprising.
Next choice is Before the Earthquake which looks quite promising. Fingers crossed!