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The Friday56 342 – Hot Milk

The Friday 56 is hosted by Freda’s Voice, it involves sharing a small excerpt from the book you are currently reading every Friday and then posting a link to the linky hosted on her site. This week I chose Hot Milk by Deborah Levy.

Rules:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your e-reader
(If you have to improvise, that’s ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or a few, just don’t spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (URL) post in Linky. Add the post URL, not your blog URL.
*It’s that simple.

Hot Milk by Deborah Levy

An image for Friday56 showing a girl in a bikini, the book cover, a medusa jellyfish and the quote, "When I looked under the table again, I saw a tiny prick of blood on her ankle. She had definitely felt that claw dig into her skin." I am just over halfway through Hot Milk and the whole book so far has made me feel like I have entered another person’s dream. It is disorientating and unfamiliar but I absolutely cannot put it down.

The novel is set in a beach town in Spain, the main character is half Greek and half English. It is a twisted coming of age tale, an exploration of truth and identity. The wandering prose and general oddness of the characters are unsettling and yet there’s somehow some familiarity, enough to like the main character, Sofia, and her angry relationship with seamstress Ingrid Bauer. Who incidentally has a partner called Matthew, but still stitches a shirt for Sofia that may or may not have the word beloved on it. Then there is the student that works in the medical hut, Juan, who Sofia might have feelings for. But if the feelings are there, they are confused and constantly undermined by Sofia’s mother, Rose’s wishes.

“When I looked under the table again, I saw a tiny prick of blood on her ankle. She had definitely felt that claw dig into her skin.”

The sentence I chose for Friday 56 sums up what the book seems to be about, at least up to the part I have read. Sofia and Rose are not on holiday in Spain, they are here to find a cure for Rose’s mysterious paralysis, that surely must be hypochondria developed to keep her daughter at her side. They are in Spain to find answers from the mysterious Mr Gomez who may be a Quack, with his strange questions and practices. He runs the clinic that is housed in a white marble dome and there is no mention of other patients.

There is an underlying tone of menace throughout the novel. The clinic walls are graffitied, but Gomez lies to Sofia about the words that were sprayed onto its white exterior. Ingrid seems to gather Sofia closer even as she pushes her away and the jellyfish, called Medusas in Spanish, provide a current of tension and pain throughout the book. I am excited to find out what happens to Sofia and the rest of the cast in this wonderfully opaque novel.

Check out my last Friday56 post!

The Friday56 335

The Friday 56 is hosted by Freda’s Voice, it involves sharing a small excerpt from the book you are currently reading every Friday and then posting a link to the linky hosted on her site. This week I chose Not Working by Lisa Owens.

Rules:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your e-reader
(If you have to improvise, that’s ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or a few, just don’t spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (URL) post in Linky. Add the post URL, not your blog URL.
*It’s that simple.

Not Working by Lisa Owens

A quote from the book Not Working - "'What about teaching?' I ask. Luke is shaving at the sink; I'm perched on the edge of the bath, imagining myself - long skirt, low bun - reading from a huge storybook to spellbound children gathered on a sun-flooded carpet."

I have almost finished reading Not Working and overall I have really enjoyed it. A few things I found a little unrealistic, ( the main character Claire just happens to have bought a house in London with her brain surgeon boyfriend) but if you just accept that this girl is really lucky and has loads of savings, it is a really funny book. I also really appreciate that her boyfriend is a genuinely nice person! I was getting a bit fed up of reading about messed up relationships that seemed to fill the protagonist’s life. There is definitely love-life drama here, but it is all Claire’s fault, not lovely Luke’s! I would quite like to meet a Luke!

I can relate to a lot of what she says, and the quote I chose is one of those sentences that made me laugh, I have definitely been there! Trying to figure out what it is you are meant to be doing is so hard! When searching for a new career, we all tend to romanticise those things we have never done or imagined doing.

“‘What about teaching?’ I ask. Luke is shaving at the sink; I’m perched on the edge of the bath, imagining myself – long skirt, low bun – reading from a huge storybook to spellbound children gathered on a sun-flooded carpet.”

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Check out my last Friday56 post!

The Friday56 332

The Friday 56 is hosted by Freda’s Voice, it involves sharing a small excerpt from the book you are currently reading every Friday and then posting a link to the linky hosted on her site.

Rules:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
(If you have to improvise, that’s ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (URL) post in Linky. Add the post URL, not your blog URL.
*It’s that simple.

The Power by Naomi Alderman

I am currently on page 117 of The Power and am absolutely loving it, there are so many sentences I want to highlight. The book has a really fast plot but also the beautiful prose makes me wish I could do this. So far, it really has it all, it makes me feel empowered, it is a little funny (or maybe satirical?) but it also makes me angry. Because once you get past the whole ‘women shooting electricity out of their fingers’ thing, it is really realistic. This is how the world would react. I see it.

The sentence I chose for Friday 56 is just wonderful. So many things happen in history purely because a chance event occurred on a day that people were praying, or working, or not working and were either there to see it or weren’t.

the smoke – poetry 101 rehab

This week’s effort for poetry 101 Rehab hosted over at Andy Townend. I am not sure where this poem came from, something about the prompt spoke to me and this came out without thinking about it too much. Hope you like it, leave me a link to your poem below!

smoke

The smoke

The smoke from the engine,

Rose in rivulets and,

Fleeted around the room,

Before escaping out the window,

Taking with it, my thoughts,

My worries,

My cares,

My heartache,

My ambitions,

My goals,

My aspirations,

My dreams,

My life.

I blinked back the stinging tears before they too went out the window.

I grabbed at the runaways but they darted around the smoke,

Spiralling, spinning out of reach.

They surrounded me

Suffocated me,

But I took a deep breath to let them all in.

They sit with the smoke,

Festering, heavy on my chest,

I go about my life,

Glad that they are there.

moments – poetry 101 rehab

After a week’s hiatus from Poetry 101 Rehab, hosted over at Andy Townend, I am back! When I saw this week’s theme I knew I already had the perfect poem, which is good as my brain just isn’t functioning at the moment. This poem is called Consciousness, and it is all about the moments!

all pictures from memory 1 100

Consciousness

When you focus on one drop in a stream
The stop and then the blur.
When you depart a literary world,
And remember who you were.

When the single tree is no longer bare,
But the landscape isn’t green.
When you are silent in a busy place,
And people pervade the scene.

When you look out of a travelling train
To see the single flower.
When you realise you are completely soaked,
And can enjoy a summer shower.

The first bite into an apple
as sweetness floods your tongue,
When you watch someone you love,
And notice they are not so young.

When someone helps you with a mundane task,
The heaviness behind your eyes.
The moment after she walks in,
Before you shout surprise.

Although life is always moving,
In these seconds I understand,
It’s not about time as a whole,
But the
individual
grains
of sand.

couldn’t – poetry 101 rehab

I went to an open mic tonight that was really difficult, a room full of people all talking, and all I could think was…I can’t do it. But I did. And people stopped talking and started listening. Pretty tired now, but here is my attempt for this week’s Poetry 101 Rehab hosted over at Andy Townend.

Couldn’t

I cannot. I can’t.
I shall not. I shan’t.
I could not. I couldn’t.
I should not. I shouldn’t.

I will try.

I smile. I do friendly face. I get up.
I try. I do it. I sit down.
I did it.
I couldn’t do it, but I did it.

partitions – poetry 101 rehab

This is my first ever try at Poetry 101 Rehab, hosted over at Andy Townend. A little rusty as I am not used to writing from prompts, but hopefully I will get into it!

Partitions

See this line on the floor little sister?

This is my side and that one is yours.

You know that I love you of course,

But we need our own space.

I will keep this part tidy,

You keep that part tidy.

Okay?

See this line on our desk, weirdo?

This is my side and that one is yours.

You know I don’t really hate you of course,

But I can’t be seen talking to you.

You stay on your side of the table

And I will, for one class, ignore the label.

Okay?

See this line on my CV?

It means I am clever, and you are not.

I know you got an unfair life lot,

But we all have to conform, slot in.

You pretend to stay away from me,

And I will meet you under the oak tree,

Okay?

See this line on the invitation honey?

It invites just you, no plus one.

She just won’t really fit in at the party.

It is for her own good.

Look, come to this one party alone,

And tomorrow invite her for dinner at home.

Okay?

See this line on the map?

It means this is my country and that is yours.

I know you are suffering from hunger and wars,

But we just can’t take any more people.

You stay on your side of the boundary,

And mine will send food and supplies.

Okay?

See this line in the city?

This side’s for my people, and that side’s for yours.

I know your side doesn’t have the same money,

But my side worked harder and earned it.

You sleep and eat in your section,

And we will pay you for our waste collection.

Okay?

See this line in the legislation?

It means I can do that and you can’t.

I don’t care how much you rant and shout,

There is nothing I can do about it.

You follow your laws,

I will follow mine, then we all have our place.

Okay?

See this line in history my child?

It started from simple partitions.

Superstition that one is better than another.

We forgot that we are all sisters and brothers.

They thought some people better,

And the others inferior.

Do you think that was okay?

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