It's been a rainy, Rumer Godden week-end for me. Last week, while I was waiting for my other books by Chimamanda Adichie to come in, I was trolling blogs looking for some reading ideas when I came across a review by Kate at Nose in a Book about Rumer Godden. For some reason, the name seemed familiar to me, although I know I've never read her work, nor did I know anything about her. On a whim, I decided to see if my library happened to have any of her books. Often my small, underfunded library doesn't have what I'm looking for, but lo and behold, they had several of her books on the shelf. It seemed like they had more Juvenile Fiction than Adult Fiction by her, but they did have a few novels shelved, as well as a book by her sister, Jon Godden.
My first choice, The Kitchen Madonna, was shelved as an adult novel, but I think should have been in Juvenile Fiction. This is a lovely little book about a reserved, unusual young boy who finally bonds with one of his sitters, an older Ukrainian woman named Marta. When Marta tells Gregory that she is unhappy with the lack of a small holy place for a Madonna in his family kitchen, Gregory sets out on a journey to find Marta a Madonna. Throughout the course of his project to provide Marta with a "Kitchen Maddona," Gregory begins to open up to the scope and power of loving other people.
My second choice, Pippa Passes, was odd. I enjoyed reading it, but it was decidedly odd. Parts of the plot felt random and forced and not particularly believable, and a few times I felt like Godden was proselytizing for the Catholic church, but the writing was solid, and the setting was Venice. I love reading about Venice, because I love Venice. At the end of the book, I decided it was probably just not one of her strongest works, even so, I was engaged and interested by it, so I went back to the library this morning to pick up her other books.
I think Rumer Godden is going to be a great author for me to pick up when I'm between denser reads looking for an entertaining break. I have a hard time finding authors to fill this need for me because I have neither the patience nor the time for poor writing. What a wonderfully diverting discovery! Thanks Kate http://www.noseinabook.co.uk !