WWW Wednesday: 30 September 2020

WWW Wednesday is run by Taking on a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

The Three Ws are:

 What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m currently reading Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell and am surprised that I’m not feeling enthusiastic about it; surprised because I’ve enjoyed her earlier books and Hamnet won the Women’s Prize for Fiction this year. It looks just the sort of book I usually enjoy. It’s historical fiction, set in Elizabethan England and it is beautifully written.

It has a strange, fairy-tale feel and I’m finding hard to settle into this book. I don’t feel involved. I feel I’m on the outside looking on from a distance. I think it’s O’Farrell’s use of the present tense, but I’m hoping I’ll feel more involved as I read on.

The last book I read was The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, a disturbing novel to say the least. My review will follow. For now here is the description from Goodreads:

Four seekers have arrived at the rambling old pile known as Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of psychic phenomena; Theodora, his lovely and lighthearted assistant; Luke, the adventurous future inheritor of the estate; and Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman with a dark past. As they begin to cope with chilling, even horrifying occurrences beyond their control or understanding, they cannot possibly know what lies ahead. For Hill House is gathering its powers – and soon it will choose one of them to make its own.

Reading Next: I’m really looking forward to reading A Song for the Dark Times by Ian Rankin, published tomorrow, his latest Rebus novel.

When his daughter Samantha calls in the dead of night, John Rebus knows it’s not good news. Her husband has been missing for two days.

Rebus fears the worst – and knows from his lifetime in the police that his daughter will be the prime suspect.

He wasn’t the best father – the job always came first – but now his daughter needs him more than ever. But is he going as a father or a detective?

As he leaves at dawn to drive to the windswept coast – and a small town with big secrets – he wonders whether this might be the first time in his life where the truth is the one thing he doesn’t want to find…

40 thoughts on “WWW Wednesday: 30 September 2020

  1. I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks that about Hamnet. There are parts that are good, but the rest is leaving me cold – but I’m only part way into it, so maybe I’ll feel differently when I’ve finished it.


  2. Shirley Jackson was so skilled at setting up an atmosphere of unease, Margaret, at least in my opinion. I’ve always found her work unsettling (in a good way, if that makes sense). Sorry to hear you’re not drawn into Hamnet. I was wondering whether that was good. I’ll be interested in your final thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Can’t wait to read your review of the Haunting at Hill House. I loved it so much but can’t being myself to watch the TV show because I fear they ruined it. If you liked it, I would recommend you check out We Have Always Lived in the Castle – another really great spooky Shirley Jackson. Happy reading 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel the same about watching a TV adaptation – I’m often disappointed by them and think the books are better. I have read We Have Always Lived in the Castle and enjoyed it more than THOHH.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Aaah, I hope Hamnet picks up for you! It’s always a shame when award winners don’t work for you…. plus the cover is just incredibly pretty.

    Would you rec Haunting of Hill House to someone who wanted a very scary ghost story? Asking because one of my friends is really keen for something like that, and I’ve not entirely known what to rec.

    My WWW is here: https://jamesleahgdi.wordpress.com/2020/09/30/www-wednesday-arc-edition-sep-30/ 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I felt exactly the same way about Hamnet. The writing was beautiful but I found that the present tense kept me at a distance from the characters. It was disappointing as it had sounded so good!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I read We Have Always LIved in the Castle by Shirley Jackson a few years ago and that was weird but The Haunting of HIll House is even weirder I believe. I read one of her short stories that was online a few years back too, The Lottery, and it just about freaked me out so I’m not that keen to read any more of her books. I hope you’re enjoying it though!

    Liked by 1 person

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