Saturday, 6 December 2014


Come talk to me of Birdsong. Explain the title to me. Teach me the depths of Isabelle. Express for me the love of land and landscape and life therein. Lament with me over a generation lost, to death or despair or long years of survival. Were the long years worse? Promise me my boys will never know their limits pulled so far they disappear from view. Stretch out your arms with me to embrace and devour the beauty of what surrounds us and supports us and saves.

I stopped reading Birdsong on Thursday morning. I realised that I was in the end game. Usually what I do at this point in a book, in the best books, is race on to the climax; knowing that I will regret the haste but needing to know. For the first time in my reading life I stopped. I did text Prince Charming to tell him what I feared was about to happen, but he was obviously too deep in the present world to care for my drowning in the past! In the end I took a great big breath and read on. Slowly.

The only other book whose sub-title I remember is Life of Pi's "A book to make you believe in God". I still smile at that. I could see that it might have been. My edition of Birdsong states below the title that this is "The novel of The First World War". I see that it is.

If it weren't for this song, I would be struggling to emerge from the mud of France. It played in the background to most of my reading, as Prince Charming practised it for coming days. It helped me find a road home from the things we scarred.


Elizabethd said...

I had to read it in short bursts.

Lisa Richards said...

I hate getting to the end of a really good book!

Jane and Chris said...

"The passage of the next three days passed in the closing of an eye; yet the images retained a fearful static quality that stayed in the mind until death" .
Makes me weep .
Jane x

M.K. said...

We do live deeply in our books, when we find the right one, don't we? It's hard to emerge. Glad you have Prince Charming to bring you back to the real world :)

Pom Pom said...

Aw, your boys, your men. You are a good lover of souls. You appreciate people and their lives. I appreciate YOU!