I’ve decided to link up with Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea who hosts a post every Tuesday for people to share the beginning of the book they are reading, or thinking of reading soon.
I’ve been reading other people’s Tuesday posts for ages, and this morning I was struck with some inspiration. Why not do my own post! Who would have thought it.
So, drumroll please, today I am officially joining in. And what’s even more exciting is that today I’m also starting a new book. I couldn’t have timed it better. I’ve just finished Zadie Smith’s NW, so have been trying to decide what to read next.
But what to read next? Decisions. Decisions.
On the way home from work last night (long journey stuck in traffic), Simon Mayo was talking about the latest book club choice for BBC Radio 2. He said it was one of the best books they’d featured (something like that anyway. I was driving), so I thought I would give it a go. The book is called Himself and is written by Jess Kidd.
Here’s the first few paragraphs.
“His first blow: the girl made no noise, her dark eyes widened. She reeled a little as she bent and put the baby down. The man stood waiting.
She straightened up into his second blow, which knocked her to the ground. She fell awkwardly, with one leg crumpled beneath her. He dropped down with his knees either side of her, so that she would hardly see the light greening the trees if she looked up, but she didn’t look up. She turned her head to see her baby on the ground, with his face pale between the folds of the blanket. He’d kicked his tiny foot out, his toes all in a line like new peas in a pod. Because she couldn’t hold her son in her arms she tried to hold him with her eyes as she willed him to be quiet, to be saved.
She did not see the man’s hands as they moved but she felt each clear shock of pain in her dark little soul. She had once traced fortunes along the furrows of his palms with her dancing fingers. His hands could build walls, fell trees and turn a bull in its tracks. His hand could circle her waist, her arm, her ankle, to lightly plot her beauty. His fingers could play songs on her spine, or tuck a strand of hair behind her ear with a mother’s tenderness. His fingers had spelt out complicated love messages on her belly as it had grown, salving the marks there with quiet reverence.
His next blow took her hearing, so that she knew her child was crying only by the shape of his mouth. She heard nothing but an endless rushing. Just like when she swam underwater in the wild Atlantic, a sea cold enough to stop your heart.
His last blow left her without sight. She lay at the edge of the world, finally willing it all to be over. She turned the mess of her face to her beautiful boy, thinking she could see him still, even through the darkness, a dim gleaming rose of the forest.
She couldn’t have known it but it was then that her baby stopped crying. The void her son had fallen into without the cradle of her gaze was immeasurable. He lay as mute as a little mushroom.”
Well, there we are. A nice cheery start to my Tuesday intros. Looking forward to reading more.