Sunday, August 14, 2005


It's mid-August and I'm just back from a week in Portugal with family and friends spent eating, sunning and drinking, going pink and visiting churches, reading around the pool. Books circulate, conversations begin to include references to the fictions we're sharing. This year our daughter, 18 and awaiting A-level results, takes a break from her social whirl to be with us, maybe for the last family holiday. Our own and our best friends' sons are already off on their own adventures. Is it by chance that this year's novels include poignant portraits of daughters growing up and away?

Ian McEwan's SATURDAY, Kate Atkinson's CASE HISTORIES, Meg Rosoff's HOW I LIVE NOW each confront empty nest nightmares, leading to thoughts scribbled in notebooks at town square cafes, warm night-time talk over wine and more wine.
Which books led to what thoughts on your holidays this year? I'd love to know.