A fractured metatarsal. It happened on a cobbled drive outside our hotel on Day 3 of the holiday, so I ended up sampling more books than planned. I kicked off with the Mollie Panter-Downes short stories, which didn’t disappoint. The Susan Hill crime thriller was pretty pedestrian but All the Light We Cannot See lived up to the hype: a sort-of love story set in WW2 St Malo. It’s long and the ‘fractured narrative’ demands concentration, but I found it involving. In fact I was crying by the final pages.
Another brick-sized tome I really enjoyed was Priscilla: the Hidden Life of an Englishwoman in Wartime France, an intriguing antidote to Elaine’s heroic story. Very different women with polar opposite responses to war. But with eerie similarities too…
After all this reading I still had 2 days of enforced sitting by the pool in prospect so I was reduced to picking up The Lake District Murder from the hotel library – the best of a ropey old bunch, much of it in Swedish. This was a tedious 1935 crime procedural without any character development or local colour but full of technical detail about the inside of petrol tankers. I waded to its bleedin’ obvious conclusion while waiting in my wheelchair for airside assistance at the airport.
So, quite a literary holiday on the whole.