A BOOK REVIEW BY TROY
I’m going to do something now that I’ve never done before – I am going to review a book on my blog. So what’s prompted this you ask? Well keen eyed readers of my blog may have noticed a rather odd comment by “Rosy” on my 7 favourite foods posting a week or so ago. Her comment went like this:-
Troy, why don't you have an e-mail contact address anywhere? I regularly read this blog, and your ITFC one (Chelsea, here we come) and I wanted to send you something - a book, actually - but there's no way to get in touch.
(I am not a lunatic stalker.)
Well I was a bit surprised to say the least. I clicked on her name which gave a link to her website and her University of Cambridge webpage which between them gave quite a lot of background on Dr Rosy Thornton. As well as being a senior academic with perhaps a brain the size of a small planet she was also an author with three published novels and an Ipswich Town supporter. I was intrigued. I went onto Amazon to see if they sold her books. And there they were – all three – and each one had rave reviews. One in particular interested me as it is set in Ipswich (my recently adopted town) as well as London and – get this (and I’ll explain more soon) – the story is apparently told just through letters, e-mails etc rather than using normal prose.
So I discussed the situation with Mrs Troy. If I was in fact going to be encouraging a lunatic stalker (and if you were one, would you admit or rather deny it?) then I wanted Mrs Troy to share the decision (by which I mean of course, the responsibility). I sent “Rosy” an e-mail. She responded by saying she wanted to send me a free copy of her book. I gave her my wife’s maiden name and works address. I told “Rosy” that if I really liked the book then I would review it on my blog and also buy her other two books. That was on a Friday – by the start of the next week I had in my hand a signed copy of “More Than Love Letters” by Rosy Thornton.
Now the fact that you are about to read my review of her book means that I did “really like” it. In fact I thoroughly enjoyed it. Perhaps like me you are thinking that you just can’t write a whole book using only letters (as in correspondence), e-mails etc. Surely they must be linked by normal prose. I mean surely! No, the entire book comprises just letters and e-mails between friends, relatives, colleagues as well as minutes of meetings, and extracts from newspaper articles with no prose. And Dr Rosy pulls it off brilliantly! Just to see this writing style tour de force would be a recommendation for buying the book. However a much better reason is because the book is a most wonderful read. At the heart of the book is a developing love story between an idealistic young single female primary teacher, (Margaret), and her local MP (Richard) to whom she originally writes several letters about issues that concern her. Her MP is New Labour (I still don’t know what possesses an intelligent person to become a Labour MP???) and he initially ignores her, but then later arranges to meet her at one of his local MP surgeries. The two main characters discuss the developing “relationship” by e-mail with their best friends in a truly believable set of dialogues. There are several interesting sub-plots involving a homeless women’s hostel, Margaret’s elderly grandmother, Margaret’s landlady and Richard’s developing career. There are some wonderful twists in the tale including a particularly brilliant one near the end which I was annoyed my sixth sense didn’t pick up.
Now as a book reviewer perhaps you think I would make a good plumber. But trust me – I’m confident that you will thoroughly enjoy this book whatever your sex, age, or political persuasion. So if you enjoy a good read – BUY IT. You’ll see it on Amazon along with some much better written reviews of it than this one. It is probably also available “in WH Smiths and all good bookshops” (although I don’t know why WH Smiths isn’t included in the latter category). Don’t wait for Rosy to e-mail YOU – you’ll be missing an excellent read in the meantime.
That just leaves my other promise – to buy her other two books. They have real girly covers although her reviewers say they too are not “chick-lit”. I could mince up to the bookshop counter and say "Mmm, what pretty covers" but maybe on second thoughts I’d be better off getting them from Amazon.
(If [surely when] you buy the book do let me know – leave a comment here even if its weeks/months later and I’ll see it and so too will my delightful “stalker” and fellow ITFC supporter, Rosy)