‘I would rather not be engaged. When people are engaged, they begin to think of being married soon, and I should like everything to go on for a long while just as it is.’
I am ashamed to admit that I have read but one, and having impressed upon a dear friend over lunch to read Cinnamon Gardens, the reciprocal plea has been to read its forerunner.
From the pages on which I last expounded, Selvadurai excelled to new heights of sumptuous story-telling, drawing the reader deeper into the lives and thoughts of his characters.
To shy away from gushing, but two (quasi)gripes must be put forth: a personal favourite among the families, Manohari is a sadly absent character – her dry wit and silliness brings to mind Lydia Bennett, sans scandal.
Providing a neat comic foil, she frequently receives an ear-boxing and leaves one with the regret that she did not feature more frequently.
Lastly, the twist of an ending is unique and we must love it for that.
But I would be a liar if I did not concede that I scowled in disappointment at…
… and so onto Half a Life, by V. S. Naipaul.
Yes, Hilary, you shall remain on the shelf, again.