20/03/2002

The September Starlings (by Ruth Hamilton)

I seem to be trying a lot of new authors at present. Ruth Hamilton is another one I have never heard of before. I like buying books second-hand, as it gives me a chance to try out new writers, some of whom I like very much.

'The September Starlings' opens as Laura visits a place from her childhood, and meets an old woman who once knew her well. Laura's husband Ben, we learn, is suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

There is a long flashback to her childhood, cleverly introduced as Laura starts to write her autobiography. This continues through her unhappy childhood years, her disastrous first marriage, and her eventual meeting with Ben.

The characters were well drawn, and there was a good atmosphere to the book, with a satisfying - if sad - conclusion. Excellent insights into the mind of someone caring for an Alzheimer's victim; right up to the end I was wondering what Laura would do.

Recommended.

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