Book Review. Innocent Blood by P. D. James.

Philippa’s parents both went to prison for the murder of a twelve-year-old girl. The father died in prison, but her mother is alive, and just about to be released. In the book Philippa has turned 18 and is on a mission to find her birth parents.

The other character, and element, crucial to this story, is the murdered girl’s father Norman. He wants revenge, and plots to murder the mother.

Philippa offers to flat share in London with her mother, because understandably she wants to find out who she is, for a few months.

I actually enjoyed the viewpoint of Philippa, going into to London to find a cheap flat, and buying furnishings, and cleaning the place out (even if I did wonder where the author was going with this) It’s an exciting time moving into a new home, and with all the possibilities of new beginnings. This book was published in 1980, so the prices, and the little details of London are different from today. Which was pretty interesting.

With Philippa, and the mother, installed into a flat in London, Norman proceeds to stalk their movements, and tries to figure out how he is going to murder this woman. 

I didn’t like the characters. I don’t think you’re supposed to in a book of this genre, are you? With everyone having their own dubious motives. I liked the dialogue, the way the story has been set up, and its setting.

This is a character study, an exploration of blood ties, and family. It is not a pacy book, and the ending fizzles out disappointingly.

The character of Philippa, and her adopted parents, are well educated, wealthy people, and I personally felt that they were looking down on the peasants as it were from their lofty position. I’m working class, and certainly have not had the opportunity to study at Oxford, or Cambridge, so I wasn’t likely to be a fan. There is also a line ‘someone had said – he couldn’t remember who – that an artist should suffer in childhood as much trauma as could be borne without breaking,’ Philippa wants to be a writer, and her experiences with her mother are referenced as could be used for material to write about. Come on. Do you have to suffer to be able to write something good?


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Book Review. For Every One by Jason Reynolds.

Dreams don’t have timelines, deadlines and aren’t always in straight lines

For Every One Jason Reynolds

For Every One is a spirit lifting, creativity stirring, encouragement giving, pep talk written by Jason Reynolds and runs as a single continuous poem on dreams, achieving them, hope and continuing even when it seems to be fruitless. It will apply to a number of different people, as it says ‘dreams aren’t reserved for the creatives’ and ‘that we are right for trying’

You hope the bubbling never dies down and the yearning to break out and break through never simmers

For Every One Jason Reynolds

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Book Review. Don’t Tell Me To Be Quiet by Christina Hart.

Your attempts at happy are half-assed and that works for you because you don’t think happy is meant for you anyway, do you?

Don’t Tell Me To Be Quiet Christina Hart

Don’t Tell Me to be Quiet asks of the reader Did you question what you ever did to deserve this? But you know you have to keep going, don’t you? Do you wonder what made you hard to love? Do you know you are worth more than the answers you may never get? and more.

But this isn’t a quiz and there are no answers, it’s enough to reflect on the metaphorical questions whichever of those might apply to you personally and take something from them.  

I found this collection heartening and stirring.

Usually you swing and miss but hope has a shiner on its right eye from the last time you socked it

Don’t Tell Me To Be Quiet Christina Hart

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it was never because

i have always lost 
the friends i made -
lost, as if they were like socks
or ballpoint pens 

was it me, i would ask
am i so bad at being a friend 
i am not worthy of that

others seem to attach, assimilate into groups 
without any effort 
seem to fit in 

and i would be so conscious of saying the wrong thing, of staring too long or not making eye contact 
like an exam
i am learning
that it was never because 
i was weird / too much / not enough /
just ‘cuz some kids don’t know any better

I often wonder if I had known I was autistic much earlier, if I grew up in a world where differences were respected and didn’t carry so much stigma and weight, if I hadn’t felt that this was normal and I simply had to toughen up (it’s a lot, I know) Would I loathe myself so much less, would I be a happier and healthier adult? Would I feel less like an imposter and more like me?