Sunday, 14 December 2014

2 Books with a bicycle on the cover: Mum's Book-club.

As you may remember - or not as maybe- my mother passed away this March 2014 and as a result I was left clearing through all her belongings which included a large number of books.
Now as she suffered from dementia for the last 7 or more years of her life there had been very little real communication for many years, we could discuss or let her talk at length about the 1940's and 1950-1960's but anything more recent had gone.
This period was intriguing but it was a pure listening role as it was before I was born! I could question and encourage but not contribute anything.
I realised that going through her books that if I read them there would again be that connection we used to have ? As I would be reading what she had read and be influenced- albeit differently I expect- by the book.Even with differing influences we'd be connected somehow.
So I have started to do so. There used to be a time when she'd tell me all about her latest book and as a teenager she steered me towards Georgette Heyer whose romances still have a dear place in my heart for frivolous and fun historic escapism. She recommended Nevil Shute's : A town like Alice which had me in floods of tears and I both read and watched the tv series '' The Thornbirds''.

Here follow two books I would never have chosen myself and which both had a bicycle on the cover:

This book by Anne Mustoe was simply amazing and a very good read indeed! Also very inspiring and interesting: a retired unfit headteacher in her 50's decides to cycle around the WORLD yes, almost 12,000 miles and mostly all on her own! She tells the tale well, has in depth classical history knowledge which she imparts as well as the scenery, weather and the people she meets.
I absolutely loved it and was sorry when it came to an end although the promised kidnapping mentioned on the back cover never actually happens. Not that I wanted it to but I was curious how a lady on her own escaped or resolved a kidnapping issue...

And this is where I think you can still buy the book:

Anne has written further travelogues and I look forward to obtaining them from a library to read also.
She was still cycling in her 70's when she died of an illness in Syria in 2009 I think.

The second book was also a very good read and quite spiritual in parts although the cycling element is much less than the cover would suggest?! I enjoyed reading this at bedtime and on trains and thought of Esme as a friend but was dissappointed at the way it ends, it's very abrupt like falling off a cliff without warning. It feels unresolved as I was not clear as to how she lived after a certain event takes place. There's a very slow start then an ambling along sort of middle section that takes up most of the book and then there's the cliff edge. But it has lovely sections that I look forward to re-reading and some in depth discussions of religion and bible readings.
It's about a Methodist mminister and written by one too, hence the in depth knowledge of the lifestyle, My mum was brought up Baptist but her mum was Methodist , my mum raised us all as C of E ( Anglican) but I raised my girls Roman Catholic in parts through their attending an RC primary school.

This is the book and again I would recommend it, it did make me feel closer both to Esme and Ember and my mum.

This is where I found it at Amazon in case you would like to read it too?

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