These are the two books I’ve managed to read as of late: The Shoemaker’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani and NW by Zadie Smith.
(I blame Candy Crush for this dearth of reading. Such a wretched little game, but I can not stop. It is infringing on my more worthwhile past times!)
So, The Shoemaker’s Wife was a very pleasant and engaging read. I was invested enough in the characters that I had some moments of eye seeping at the end when the author decided it was time to manipulate my heartstrings thusly.
It’s about two teenagers in Italy who meet when they’re 15 years old in their tiny village. They are obviously supposed to then be in love, but events transpire, separating them. Lo! We meet again in NYC! Obviously, let’s be in love. Missed opportunity and missed communication. We shall keep one another squirreled away in some deep dark place of secret pining, but let’s carry on about our business of being hard working WWI era immigrants, yes? Yes! Finally, over a decade after our first meeting, we will cross paths again and make our merry way. Things continue merrily, more and less, the end.
And NW? This was not an easy read. It wasn’t particularly dense, though, so once I committed to a read-it-up-rodeo, I did get through the last 200+ pages pretty quickly.
I’ve never read a Zadie Smith novel before, always anticipating that they’d be too smart and meaty for me to really enjoy. And as I’d expected, I didn’t particularly enjoy this book. Although, I feel like I appreciate it more now that I’ve finished and read some of the reviews of the book. I need someone else to tell me what was interesting to then feel interested.
This was (mostly) about two women who grow up in a poor neighbor of London and live in a tower block. They grow up and escape their background to varying degrees, but their background continues to impact them, their outlooks, and identities to varying degrees.
They are best friends and then not friends and then acquaintance-friends who are still in touch because of their long-lived status as bffs. Along the way, there are confused feelings about having or not having children, about marriage, and their families (who still live in the projects.) As the reader, along the way, you are supposed to be intrigued by the dialogue, London jargon and slang, and strange structure of the book.
all for now.