Usually, my summer reads are by Latin American writers such as Isabel Allende, Garcia Marquez or Mario Vargas Llosa. There is something about the atmosphere of Ibero-American literaure that really appeals to my senses and imagination. Descriptions of food, scents, textures, folk wisdom and culture - it seems they all come together in a cauldron of magical realism, which is characteristic for these authors. Another thing I love about these books is that they always feature strong recourceful women.
That's why I chose 'The Midnight Palace' as one of my holiday books. It was recommended in the I-On - a local lifestyle magazine. I heard about The Shadow of the Wind and I'd thought I'd give it a go. I read the first 15 pages and I couldn't carry on. It was too dark, tiring and not-pleasant at all. It was not my cous-cous as one of the characters from my second holiday read would have said.
So this time, although I was in a Spanish speaking country I read a book set in France - 'The price of Water in Finistére'. Now, this was a perfect book to read on holidays. It's written by a Swedish writer who leaves her home country to start a new life in Brittany. She writes beautifully and poetically about her first year in Finistére, about her garden, her neighbours, long afternoons on the porch. All of this from a perspective of a down-to-earth Swede who is in awe of the openess and carefree nature of the French lifestyle.It made me laugh more than any other book I read in a while. There is almost no plot to follow, just a sheer pleasure of reading amusing passages written in a beautiful language.
That's why I read it twice. Back to back. I highly recommend it altough you may find this type of a book is not your cous-cous.
*picture credits: me, me, amazon.co.uk