As said before, I was surprised by how dark this book is. The descriptions of war and hardship are graphic and gruesome. The well-known love story element is submerged by the author’s apparent intention to catalogue the trials and tribulations of the island of Cephallonia (with a double consonant). The characters, however, are shown with faults and flaws so that their ultimate heroism is placed in context. I didn’t love this book and I doubt I will read it again but I’m glad that I did read it and challenged my original prejudices.
Although this is primarily a blog about books I can’t resist art creeping in. I went to see the Camden Town exhibition in Plymouth Art Gallery and wish I hadn’t bothered. Walter Sickert was represented by just one painting and another work attributed to Patricia Preece was labelled as a watercolour when it was clearly in oil. I was, however, treated to the ‘response’ of an infant class who had bizarrely stuck some pictures of cakes to a sheet of paper. This was deemed worthy of display. Perhaps, on reflection, it was there to fill the space left on the walls by the absence of any major works of art in this very disappointing exhibition.