April Fool – Booking Through Thursday

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Deb has asked a variety of questions for today.

  • Who’s your favorite ‘fool’ of a character, and why?
  • What authors have fooled you? By a trick plot twist? By making you think their book was any good when it wasn’t?
  • What covers have fooled you into reading books you hated €¦ even though the covers were wonderful?
  • What’s the best April Fool’s Day trick you’ve ever seen/heard about/done?

Choose the one you like best. Or answer all of them! Or make up your own.

I was fooled by Margaret Forster’s book, Diary of an Ordinary Woman, or rather I fooled my self.

Even though it is clear from the front cover that this is a novel I started reading it thinking it really was the diary of Millicent King, a woman born in 1901 who had kept a diary from the age of 13 until she was 94. I think the fact that it has an ‘Introduction’ was partly to blame where the narrator explained how she had come across the diaries and was intrigued enough by them to ‘make something of them’ and how she had met Millicent just before her death. The ‘diary’ records the events of the Great War as it touched her family, on through the 20s and 30s in London and then to the Second World War where Millicent drove an ambulance through the bombed streets of London.

It’s written in diary format with added information from the ‘editor’. It was only when I came to read the later part of Millicent’s ‘life’ that I began to wonder if this woman could possibly be real and have been involved in so many of the great social upheavals and dramas of the times and I began to suspect that this was fiction.  That should teach me to read book titles more closely and look at the front covers properly!

Nevertheless this is very good book and I enjoyed it enormously, although I did feel a little sad that Millicent wasn’t a real person.

As for covers I don’t think I’ve ever been fooled by one – as I don’t really look at them very carefully.

3 thoughts on “April Fool – Booking Through Thursday

  1. Margaret – Interesting question! I’ve certainly been fooled by authors; I think my most memorable “fooling” was the first time I read Agatha Christie’s The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. Christie was able to completely gull me so that I was totally surprised by the real killer in that novel. If I’d had the wits, the clues were there, but I was fooled, anyway.

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  2. Margaret Forster is one of my favorite authors but it’s a shame that her premise wasn’t clearer at the outset. She does have a remarkably realistic style, so I can see how you could be duped. I loved her book, Lady’s Maid, about a fictional maid of Elizabeth Barrett Browning. I came away believing that she was real.

    I have got to look for this book and add it to the pile–I particularly like her charting the 20th century. What a vast amount of change in that century.

    Glad you ended up enjoying the book.

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