Category Archives: Persephone Books

Patience by John Coates

Patience by John Coates Title: Patience
Author: John Coates
Publisher: Persephone Books Ltd
ISBN: 978-1903155899
Genre: Literary Fiction
Pages: 272
Source: Publisher
Rating: 5/5

Another book on adultery. This time yet again from, “The Novel Cure” Reading Project. This time a book which probably very few people would have heard of, called, “Patience” by John Coates. I could not wait to get my hands on it and when I did, I waited. I tend to do that sometimes. I wait. Till I am ready for the book. Or rather the book is ready for me. “Patience” was ready for me this month and I jumped right into it.

“Patience” is about Patience – she is the protagonist, who is Catholic, and is way too familiar with the concept of Sin. She is not happy in her marriage. Edward is not the kind of husband she wants to be with. He is being unfaithful to her (We come to know of this at the beginning of the book, when her brother Lionel tells her so). He is fond of her and his family of three daughters, but would rather have a son. Until Patience decides that she has had enough. She begins to live her life on her own terms and things get pretty interesting from thereon.

The book is brilliantly written, with characters behaving the way probably you and I would in situations they are in. Patience, initially comes across as timid and naïve but according to me, as the novel progresses her true nature and the strength of character is apparent, which left me hooting for me, long after the book finished. John’s sensibilities and character portrayal is way ahead of its time. Patience is set in a time when women cannot think of living the way Patience did and to me that is commendable.

I also sometimes wondered what it would be like for a man to write a book from a woman’s perspective. Maybe it is not that difficult at all. Patience is proof of that. A book which makes you think, smile and cheer all the way. Please do not miss it.

This one was to cure Adultery from The Novel Cure Reading Challenge.

Next Up: The Summer Without Men by Siri Hustvedt

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Book Review: Little Boy Lost by Marghanita Laski

Little Boy Lost by Marghanita Laski Title: Little Boy Lost
Author: Marghanita Laski
Publisher: Persephone Books
ISBN: 9781906462055
Genre: Literary Fiction
Pages: 234
Source: Publisher
Rating: 5/5

“Little Boy Lost” is one of those books which you will read and will keep coming back to again and again. I have reread it twice in less than a year and it is one of those lost classics which I am very happy that Persephone Books decided to reprint.

The plot sucks the reader right in from page on. A Christmas Day, which is supposed to be the happiest day for a family, however it isn’t for Hilary Wainwright, a poet and intellectual who returns to France after WWII, to find his lost child of five years ago. One doesn’t know whether the child is his or not, who is now in Normandy. There are several other questions that arise in the narrative which make this the most compelling and nail-biting read you would encounter.

Marghanita Laski’s style of writing is also rather linear – and she has also ensured that while writing quite simply, the plot gets entangled at most points. That seemed a little confusing at first; however I soon got used to the writing style. The emotions are quite raw and unapologetic in the entire narrative. The book also speaks of war, but obviously and that is running parallel to the search of his boy.

There is a lot of challenge and adventure and mystery at the same time in this book, which perhaps made it so special to me that I reread it. Every aspect of the narrative shakes you up and wants you to know what is going to eventually going to happen. I cannot stop raving about the book and highly recommend this one.