For the final post in June’s Random Reads, I’m going to be chatting about this month’s two Random Reads books in a bit more detail.
Our theme for this month was the contemporary genre. I’ve read quite a lot of contemporary this year, but before that it was something I avoided, to be honest. I was so hooked on fantasy I thought anything set in the real world must be a little bit boring. I’m fully prepared to say that was silly of me and I enjoy a lot of contemporary now, and this months reads were interesting choices.
I wanted to chat a little about characters, because I feel that both books this month had some truly wonderful characters.
My choice for Stacie was If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch. I absolutely loved this when I read it a few months back, and while it was an interesting story, it was really the characters that made it. I have honestly never fallen in love with characters the way I did with Carey and Jenessa. They are absolutely my favourite fictional sisters: I loved how much Carey cared for Nessa and what she would do to keep her sister happy and safe. I feel that way about my sisters (though thankfully I don’t have to look after them the way Carey does) and I really related to that pure sibling love.
Stacie’s choice for me was Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. I’d heard of this book before (mostly because of the film that came out a while back) and I didn’t really think it was my cup of tea. I was right – for me it’s a little too slow/romance heavy – but one thing I really did love was Jacob’s character, particularly when we see him as an old man.
Jacob’s confusion and irritation really affected me as I read this – it made me see things from my grandparents perspective, just a little bit. My 90 year old Grandma lives with me and my Nan and Grandad live in a care home like Jacob does. Both the women have varying forms of dementia and my Grandad, although still sharp as a tack, is almost completely deaf. I know they get confused at times and it can be really hard to know how to do what’s right for them. And, though it’s not nice to admit, it’s easy to get frustrated with them as well. I felt it was really good to be able to read Jacob’s story and put myself in their shoes for a little while.
This month’s books were very different for me, but I liked reading out of my comfort zone, and I’ll be passing Water for Elephants over to my sister as I think she’ll enjoy it.
I’m really excited to see what next month has in store for us!
See Stacie talk about If You Find Me in more depth over at her blog.