Friday, January 29, 2010

The Blue Handbag

The Blue Handbag by Fiona Robyn
Product Information:
320 pages
Snowbooks, UK Open Market Ed (Aug. 2009)
Personal Copy synopsis: After forty years of happy marriage, Leonard thought he knew his wife Rose as well as he knew himself. It's only after her sudden death that he finds her old handbag, which contains a mystery he can't ignore. Accompanied by Lily, his wife's childhood friend, Leonard becomes a reluctant detective as his whole life starts to unravel! "The Blue Handbag" is steeped in a quiet poetry which reminds us to take pleasure from the ordinary details of life - reading stories to our children, sharing silence with our friend over a beer, enjoying the plants Leonard tends for a living - and never to take anything for granted.

My thoughts: I truly enjoyed The Blue Handbag. Robyn's depiction of Leonard's life after his wife's death was so lifelike, his memories so raw. There was one page that had me completely engrossed, on the verge of tears, and I was brought back to reality by two words: Spaghetti Bolognese. I laughed in surprise - there was such an immediate and wonderful transition from such a beautifully convincing past, to a ordinary present. Thankfully, I did not anticipate how the story would unfold, and I was very pleased by the ending. The story made me wish for a local pub, dream about a beautiful garden, and hug my husband a little tighter.
I'm looking forward to enjoying Robyn's first book The Letters very soon, and I'm looking forward to participating in the Blogsplash for her new book Thaw on March 1st. If you haven't yet signed up to participate, find out more about it here.
Your turn: Ever been snapped quickly back to reality, or experienced an unexpected (but enjoyable) jump by an author that left you reeling?

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