The Hand That First Held Mine – Maggie O’Farrell
A wonderful book containing two stories that seem to be unrelated, but all along we somehow know that they have to be related. Lexie is just starting her career in the 60s in London. Elina has just had a baby but somehow can’t remember exactly having the baby. She and her husband Ted are coping with being new parents, but also Ted’s lack of memory about his childhood.
Village School – Miss Read
Set in the 1950s, through the eyes of the headmistress of the school, this is the first installment in the Miss Read series. I’d been wanting to get to know the characters in this English village for some time. Generally these are the daily happenings of the village and it’s people, a soothing read.
I don’t think there is much left to say about this blockbuster and I will spare anymore summarizing. When I read it a while ago it was wildly popular. I don’t remember talk of a movie but everyone seemed to love it. I did too! I still struggle with it though. On one hand the story is nicely written, the characters are rich and lovable both for their personalities and because of the amazing feat they take on. But I couldn’t help but think that it was too clean and too safe regarding social and racial tensions. I kept waiting for Stockett to take a leap into the horrors that so many experienced at this time. Even so, this book is accessible to a wide audience and that may have been the point. I’m planning on seeing the film as I love love love Viola Davis’ work. I think I even imagined her in this story…though I may be imagining that now!
Image from the The Help Official Movie Site