Couple of books read since I last posted both with their share of happy times, but ultimately filled with some regret and wondering about where it all went wrong.
I grew up supporting Leeds Utd. I began supporting them in the 1970’s when they were a bit good, but they have been mostly a team that disappoints more that they have delivered. Still though, after a few years in the old division two, they managed to get promoted, win Division One before it became the Premiership, and even got the the Champions League Semi Final, before financial disaster saw them plummet to the third rung of the English football ladder.
Promised Land: An Northern Love Story by Anthony Clavane covers all of this and more. From the early 60’s through the glory years, to about 2014, it gives a potted history of the club’s fortunes, linking them the the fortunes of the City itself and it’s Jewish population. Its a social history linking the three together. Its an easy read, very accessible, and recommended for supporters of the football team, or people generally interested in social history.
The Green Road by Anne Enright on the other hand, is a novel about a disfunctional Irish family whose matriarch decides to sell the family home, prompting all of her children to return home from around the world for Christmas. Familiar resentments aren’t long about coming to the surface as the family get to grips with their mothers machinations.
Its a good read. Touch of melancholy. Familiar enough story for Irish readers. Set in modern years rather than the 50’s thankfully. Its well told, beautifully written and for the most part satisfying. I didn’t love it though. It didn’t grab me or engage me emotionally. I didn’t especially care what happened to the different characters. That was probably the point. Each child had something interesting going on individually. But as a family they just aren’t as interesting or don’t quite get it together.
There is a lot to like in the book. Maybe I was in the wrong headspace reading it. I admired it, and wouldn’t put anyone off it. I can’t quite explain why I didn’t love it, I just didn’t connect emotionally.
Two very different books. Lots of stories within stories, and both tracing highs and lows of individuals within a family or community. Both recommended for different readers, for different reasons.