I'm sorry to announce that I have my first true Booker-thon failure to report and this one's up there amongst the bookie's favourites.If there's time it may end up in my one more chance saloon, but doubtful.
I have presevered to p80 with The Ruby in Her Navel (on the Captain Correlli principle) and am starting to feel this book has no future for me.I'm surprised because I have read and enjoyed plenty of Barry Unsworth in the past.If someone writes to tell me it takes a turn for the better on p81 then woe is me.
I have struggled to latch onto the writing style and something is keeping me at arm's length from the actual text. I keep reading a page and then having to read it again because not a word has sunk in.Not something I ever have a problem with if a book engages me from the off, or even if it is slow to start.
Set in twelfth century Sicily think saracens, crusades, holy wars, internecine strife, monasteries usually enough there to latch onto but I have truly floundered with this one.I also wanted to succeed because at its heart are the beginnings of religious wars and hatred and I can see why that earns it a place on the longlist.
Then I start to feel miserable with no great book on the go but life's short so reluctantly time to throw in the towel.
I certainly hope others succeed where I have failed.