Having discovered Madeleine L’Engle’s children’s books some time ago, and loved them, I thought I’d have a go at one of her grown-up stories. I started The Severed Wasp some time ago and it has been my bedtime reading for what seems like months. Reviews said that it was full of suspense but I must confess I didn’t get that at all – or I would have finished it much sooner. However, it was an interesting story about a concert pianist who retires to New York and meets an old friend, now a retired bishop. Set in New York and the claustrophobic confines of a cathedral close, there are plenty characters that I recognised. The Episcopal Church is really the same the world over.
The title of the books comes from a quote by George Orwell’s Collected Essays:
[A wasp] was sucking jam on my plate and I cut him in half. He paid no attention, merely went on with his meal, while a tiny stream of jam trickled out of his severed esophagus. Only when he tried to fly away did he grasp the dreadful thing that had happened to him.
But I’m still not exactly sure what this had to do with the story, interesting though it is.
Good character analysis though, good dialogue, and true to life secrets that affect us all.
The next book I finished yesterday was Twilight on my Kindle. This is the first book in a series of Vampire novels by Stephenie Meyer. One of the teenagers in my little flock was reading it in church one day and highly recommended it to me. Now, you may know, that I like to get down with the kids (watched the whole of Doctor Who just so that I could chat to some shy boys in another parish far, far away) and I am enjoying reading young people’s books so I thought I’d give it a go.
I seem to remember that I read somewhere that the author was a Christian and didn’t want to put any sex in the book, and that is certainly true. But the suspense of ‘will they, won’t they?’ was right up there. And I must confess that I really quite enjoyed it.
17 year old Bella moves to Fork, Washington to live with her father and finds it difficult being the ‘new’ girl in school. There she encounters the Cullen family, five adopted children, who keep themselves to themselves and seem to be very different from all the other young people. One in particular, Edward, is really quite hostile towards her but she feels strangely attracted to him. When he saves her life their relationship starts to grow and of course she finds out that he and his family are vampires.
Edward is a good vampire (he drinks the blood of animals rather than people) but temptation is just around the corner. And so it goes on… I can see why 13 year olds the world over are lusting after these books. Actually, I quite fancied him myself.