There is nothing quite like historical fiction, to enjoy by the summer sunshine, this month.
The Taxidermist’s Daughter
The book is a ghoulish take on the taxidermy trade – my favourite aspect of the novel is just how eerie and blue the dangerous world seems to be the moment you meet it. The protagonist in The Taxidermist’s Daughter is a young lady who is unable to recall episodes earlier than ten years ago, because of the horrific memories she has built up in her head about catastrophic events she has personally been a witness to.
The year is 1912 and the city is Sussex: there is a church that often chimes, Sussex gets flooded frequently but the lady is left alone inside of a dying house, with no one else but her father there. She has had a brief romantic affair with an “eligible blachelor” in the past but her father is nothing like the man – he is someone who only lives through one torment after another, in an increasing capacity as the days go on by. He drinks to forget his past but then something happens that reawakens the lady’s memories of all those years, that were lost to the bright and viviacious thing.
The Paying Guests
The novelty of having paying guests around is something you will have to experience yourself to know what it is all about but this book brings you a little bit closer to all of that. In the year 1922, the capital of England is busy but no one really knows what is happening at this little place where Frances reimagines her guests as objects, rather than humans with feelings. The most intriguing arc of the story in The Paying Guests is how Frances likes to interpret the people who come to provide the young lady with an income for her to support herself, and her widow-mother.
Servicemen all around the station are no longer with a job and very confused about the reality they have to now accept, there are beggars all around who are in desperate need for more pennies to buy some food, and the air is calm and sophisticated. This little place is in Camberwell, where silence prevails even though there is no peace in the hearts and minds of all those who live here. Frances owns the place and lives with her really old mother here and the two are knee-deep in debts because of the war and the men in their family who all died there. She boils eggs, lays fires, empties chamber pots but tells no one she converses with about this because they would never understand how a woman of her class fell into this state of poverty-stupor.