I’ve never read any of Rose Tremain’s books, but when I saw The Cupboard on the library van’s shelves the plainness of the title and the photo on the cover interested me, because they just didn’t seem to match.
I took it off the shelf and read the back cover, where the newspaper critics’ quotations are glowing with praise for Rose Tremain: ‘one of the finest writers in English’ from the Daily Telegraph, ‘Rose Tremain’s fiction is my gold standard’, from The Independent on Sunday’, and ‘Miss Tremain has fashioned the totality of one life – and conveyed the evanescence of all human existence’ from the Sunday Telegraph. So I thought I should have a look inside the book, where I see that Rose Tremain has won many prizes for her books.
But it was the opening paragraph that really caught my attention and is the reason I borrowed the book:
At the age of eighty-seven, Erica March died in a cupboard. She wrapped her body in a chenille tablecloth, laid it out neatly under a few skirts and dresses that still hung on the clothes rail and put it to death very quietly, pill by pill.
Now that makes me want to read on to find out why she did that! Not the accolades or the awards, but the words.
For more Book Beginnings see Gilion’s blog Rose City Reader.