A year of marvellous ways- Sarah Winman



This is one of those books that I found myself enjoying-despite myself. That’s because at times it felt like you could see that the author was trying too hard to write a whimsical story. That she was pushing the magical realism a little too hard, and at times the plot is perfectly predictable.

At the same time, it was a charming read. That’s why I enjoyed it despite myself, because even though I could see through all the literary ploys, I allowed myself to be captivated at castaway with the gypsy, Marvellous, who nurses a spiritually-broken soldier back to physical and mental health.

Set in Cornwall just after the Second World War, this is the history of Marvellous Ways, a gypsy whose mother, she believes was a mermaid, and Francis Drake, a shunned lover and fatherless soldier who’s been left broken by life.

It’s a sweet and easy read, worth it if you want a story that you’ll enjoy, but through which you don’t have to think too much. I paired this with the equally sweet and charming Altydgedacht Pinotage.


Gone baby gone…

This is not a love story

This is not a love story

I don’t read thrillers. I’m more the classic literature/academic type (as you may have noticed) rather than the dime-a-dozen paperback type.
Yet, for some reason I felt drawn to reading Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn when I discovered it on a colleagues desk in January (I regret that decision now).
So I bought it, and I read it. I have to say that I found the prolific use of bad language and the very sexualised nature of the book offensive, but I really enjoyed the way that Flynn writes, picking up little details in a very natural and descriptive manner. Her characters, especially protagonist Nick are complex and three dimensional, which I enjoyed.
This book is a mind-funk from beginning to end. In the first half I thought it was a social commentary novel on women’s abuse, the second half a thought “psycho bitch”.
For all the *ish* that goes down in this novel, the end, though sad and scary is probably the best possible ending Flynn could have written.
If thrillers are your thing, you’ll enjoy this, if not then rather give it a skip.
Pair with anything that will make you drunk 😉 just kidding, it goes well with the Nuy Pinotage.