Last Friday I quoted the opening sentences of Life Support by Tess Gerritsen, which was going to be the next book I read. I did read on for a couple of chapters but had to stop as I was just not in the mood for reading a medical thriller set in a hospital – too close to the bone! I fancied reading something less disturbing, so I took A Summer Bird-Cage by Margaret Drabble down from the bookcase and began to read that:
I had to come home for my sister’s wedding. Home is a house in Warwickshire, and where I was coming from was Paris. I was keen on Paris, but will refrain from launching into a description of the Seine. I would if I could, but I can’t. (page 7)
A Summer Bird-Cage was Margaret Drabble’s first novel. It was first published in 1963 and is set at the in the early 1960s, about the lives of two sisters – Sarah, the narrator who has just graduated from Oxford University and is wondering what to do with her life, and her beautiful sister Louise who at the start of the book is about to marry, Stephen, a rich novelist. From what I’ve read so far, neither of them seem happy and there is definitely tension between them.
Interesting I think, and I’m wondering if it maybe a bit autobiographical – Margaret Drabble is the younger sister of A S Byatt. Maybe this sentence was personal, comparing the two sisters, when Sarah says – ‘As far as tags go she is grande dame where I am jeune fille, and she leads all her life to match it.’ Or maybe I’m reading too much into that.
Book Beginnings on Friday is hosted by Katy at A Few MorePages.