You may remember I posted recently about my first read of a Niall Williams book recommended by Susan Hill, As It Is In Heaven. My final read of 2006 and that was me ending the year like a wrung out dishcloth.
I was ready and waiting for the ambush when I picked up Only Say The Word and trying desperately not to be influenced by that 100% very me style cover.
Aha, don't think I'm falling for all that again, oh no not this time because I knew exactly what to expect.Like putty you are if you're not careful, this man has your emotions in the palm of his hand.
But that man from Kiltumper has done it again.
I'm in bits and may be suffering from post-reading stress disorder and will likely need counselling and time off work.
There's a plus side because now I really do want to work in a book shop so if reading Niall Williams leaves me all washed up and spent and incapable of a career in the caring professions that's what I'll do.
Jim Foley, spends some time working in one in New York and I like the sound of it all as the owner says to him
'Have you read it?...'
" No I haven't'
'Take it home tonight. Read it, you'll sell it better.That's a tip, take home whatever you want, read it. Would you buy meat from a butcher that wouldn't touch the steak? You wouldn't. Read the books, read them.'
I bet that's just what it's like, I'd get myself a wheelie trolley, can you see me at the end of the day? Plus you never get generous offers like that in the NHS.
Take this enema home and try it.Would you give one without knowing what it feels like? Well um actually, yes, sorry.
This is a book about Jim's journey from County Clare to New York and back again and there's a Ralph McTell song in that sentence somewhere so I'll just have a little hum of From Clare to Here while I write.
It's a book about books and reading, writing, love, death, grief, families, the whole lot.There was a single and sudden moment of stark realisation about the plot for me as I read and I felt positively sick with sadness, then you are so engrossed that you don't see it coming and when it does, well it's clever.
I've already told Niall that I'm fed up with finding a writer so capable of playing with emotions like this because I'll have to read them all and regularly and willingly end up in shreds.