You may notice (or not) that finally I've embarked on reading some Alice Sebold.
My failure to even have a copy of The Lovely Bones on my shelves down to the powerful hatred of it by a reading acquaintance.Not someone I even really know and no specific reasons given, but a dislike so profound that it really did seem to permeate my thinking sufficiently to make me take against a book I knew virtually nothing about and consequently never really bothered to look at.
Then the lovely ladies at Macmillan sent me a proof copy of Alice Sebold's forthcoming book The Almost Moon. I didn't jump up and down with excitement as many would, in fact, despite the fact it's a thing of beauty, I glowered at it a bit.
"Huh, Alice Sebold".
For a proof copy Macmillan have really pushed the boat out and some.
Outer silver cover, inner silver cover with beautiful lunar
illustration and probably worth a fortune one day, except that I've
read mine and written all over it and creased the spine. I'm saving
my thoughts on The Almost Moon until nearer publication date, 16th October. Booker Prize day an auspicious date for Picador/Pan Macmillan to choose if ever there was one.Books about matricide admittedly not that common in my general reading so this one quite a challenge so on that more soon.
But having read it I knew the time had come to tackle the rest of the Alice Sebold oeuvre and the MacLadies agreed, hastily dispatching Lucky and The Lovely Bones. So finally I look closely at a copy of a book I have barely glanced at despite its best seller status and then I look at Lucky.
I had read about the subject matter of Lucky, this is the book in which Alice Sebold recounts the most horrific physical assault and rape that she suffered as a student and her subsequent recovery.
This had all been enough to convince me that I didn't want to read this one either.
Far too agonising and harrowing.
Am I alone in gathering these irrational prejudices about books I don't think I'll like?
For whatever reason, no matter how open-minded I might like to think I am?
In the end I decide that perhaps you owe the people who've had the courage to write it down the ultimate respect of reading it.
I've managed to sweep aside all ill-conceived prejudices and as you might expect I'm now realising I have missed a great writer and one who most certainly doesn't shy away from some of the most difficult subjects.
Much more about Alice Sebold and The Lovely Bones just a few years later than everyone else very soon.