The Stranger’s Child by Alan Hollinghurst is a book from my TBR Pile 2014 and begins in the early 1900s, just before the outbreak of the First a World War and from there the narrative spans a century. In the first part of the novel we meet Cecil Valance, a poet and witness his impact on the Sawle family and after his death in the First World War, we meet various other characters who are all linked to Cecil in some vague way, or if not directly linked meet someone who is.
And that’s all I can tell you about the book. According to my kindle I have read 65% of the novel, however I have decided l am giving up. It isn’t often I give up on books and I am a little sad to give up on a book from one of my reading challenges but then I reasoned, what is the point if I’m not enjoying the book? Why should I force myself to read the remaining 35% of the book when I genuinely don’t care and I know I am only going to take forever to finish reading it as I’m not enjoying it, therefore I won’t pick up the kindle. Why do I feel this obligation to complete every book I start? I shouldn’t see giving up on The Stranger’s Child as a failure, but more as a realisation that I shouldn’t waste my time on something I am not enjoying and this is good as it will ensure I read what I truly enjoy. Besides as long as I don’t do this with every book I own I’ll be fine.
That’s not to say The Stranger’s Child is a terrible book, this is purely my opinion. I know there are people who have enjoyed this book, but for me it was just too much effort and not in a good way. As soon as I felt I knew a group of characters the narrative jumped decades and I felt I had to work out how everyone was connected and the links back to Valance. I’m not sure if I just picked this book up at the wrong time (a school trip to Disneyland including a ten hour coach trip and the end of the term) or if I would have felt this way regardless of when I read it.
I was in two minds as to whether or not this counted towards my TBR Pile 2014 however I read over half of the book and I have written a post about it, so it counts in my eyes. >