RCA Secret 2016

Slightly outside the realm of what I usually blog about but sometimes you have to change your comfort zone.

Angela Lamb's Art Blog

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It’s been awhile since I last blogged, largely because life is so busy with work and beyond that when you’re creating, you don’t necessarily want to share your creations straight away. I may not post on here terribly regularly but you can find me on a plethora of social media including Twitter, Facebook, periscope (I’ve just started to use) and others.

So I apologise but I shall try to update you on what I have created since I was last around on here.

I’m posting now, as its the point in the year that I contribute to RCA Secret and take a ride on its whirlwind. Its been an interesting time for me despite the shortened hand in deadline this year of just three weeks instead of six. I had a little bit of blank page syndrome moment when I got the official postcards and it did take awhile to get going…

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What I’m Reading

holding-hanya-yanagihara-a-little-life

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Hanya Yanagihara-A Little Life

 

I am amazed, inspired, terrified, overwhelmed by this book. It’s a frustrating roller coaster of words and ideas and even though I have moments of wanting to put it down and walk away every , I just can’t. It keeps sucking me back in. I am staggered by the flow of the story and the easy pace it develops. I’m completely in awe of this woman who managed to keep all of the threads together. It’s easy to see why Yanagihara has just been shortlisted for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction and at 720 pages, I’m glad I get to spend April with this book.

This is not the love song of Aganetha Smart.

Girl Runner Carrie Snyder
Title
Girl Runner
AuthorCarrie Snyder
PublisherJohn Murray Press, Two Roads
Date of Publication: 12 February 2015
Number of Pages: 384
Genre: Women’s Fiction, General Fiction (adult)

Rating: 5 star

Disclaimer: Copy provided free by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Summary:  Girl Runner is the story of Aganetha Smart, a former Olympic athlete who was famous in the 1920s, but now, at age 104, lives in a nursing home, alone and forgotten by history. For Aganetha, a competitive and ambitious woman, her life remains present and unfinished in her mind.

When her quiet life is disturbed by the unexpected arrival of two young strangers, Aganetha begins to reflect on her childhood in rural Ontario and her struggles to make an independent life for herself in the city.

Part historical page-turner, part contemporary mystery, Girl Runner is an engaging and endearing story about family, ambition, athletics and the dedicated pursuit of one’s passions. It is also, ultimately, about a woman who follows the singular, heart-breaking and inspiring course of her life until the very end. 

Review: I thought, given how much I loved this book, a review would be easy to write. I sat down at my desk and waited for the words to flow onto the page and nothing has happened. The glowing review comes out of my fingertips in a jumble of half formed sentences and ideas. Subtle. Powerful. Brazen. Heart wrenching. Engaging. Joyous. So many adjectives that just can’t do justice to the experience.

I made a note, about halfway through that the story was seamlessly disjointed and perfectly depicted the physical decline of a very old lady who was still functioning cognitively. Snyder’s telling of Aggie’s life flows effortlessly into the next, moving between the past and the present without getting lost or confused. There are so many parts, within the whole, for Snyder to control, it would have been incredibly easy for the narrative to turn into a mess. The fact that it doesn’t is amazing.

Girl Runner is the first book this year, where I have had such a genuine emotional response. I adore Aggie. So much of her I can see in myself. Aggie always wants to keep moving, she can’t help but run. She wants to escape to something more, something better even though she has no idea what the more or the better actually is. I know what this is like but for me it’s the being restricted to the one spot, wanting to travel, experience the world, find the new moment of enlightenment.

To write this review I haven’t looked at what others have thought. To be blunt, I don’t care what others thought. My only regret is that I can’t read it again for the first time. Carrie Snyder is an author I will follow for future work because Snyder is only going to get better.

March in Review

march in review

 

The Girl in the Photograph written by Kate Riordan – 3 stars
The Great Zoo of China written by Matthew Reilly – 4 stars
Cannonbridge written by Jonathan Barnes – 4 stars
The Girl in the Spider’s Web written by Stieg Larsson and David Lagercrantz – 4 stars
Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe written by Max Lucado – 4 stars
Forensics: The Anatomy of Crime written by Val McDermid – 4 stars

Average star rating for the month – 3.83