To fall in love with reading again
A girl if a half-formed thing Heading 1
Eimar McBride, 2014 Heading 2
The first time I learnt about Eimar McBride was through the bookshop assistant I was dating in Bath. He was tall, skinny and handsome but the thing that attracted me the most to him was his book shelf. The day I went into his house for the first time and saw books everywhere, I fell head over heels for him. He turned out to be terrible to date but we could go on and on for hours about books and that simply made me happy.
He had chosen a couple books for the monthly book club and I hadn’t liked any of them: Brazzaville, x, x and x where very dark and I found the characters to be twisted when I was just looking to fall back in love with reading and to meet some people in the process. I have since donated all of the books I read through that book club.
He did recommend the Lesser Bohemians at one point and Eimar was giving a talk at Topping, so I decided to go for it. If you have never read anything she’s written there are few commas, almost no long sentences and the characters and narrator’s voice get completely mixed from beginning to end. The key, one of the ladies of the bookclub said, was to read at least 20 pages before deciding if you wanted to keep going or to completely abandon it. Her editor and that talk said that it was one of the most difficult books to edit she had ever encounter.
I managed to finish it and loved it and bought “A girl is a half-formed thing” that same night, while Eimar was in town. She signed it and then it sat on my bookshelf through the rest of my time in Bath and two years and two flats in London.
Last night was the night. I jumped in bed at 7pm, holding a cup of tea, wearing my pijamas and my dressing gown and hid under the covers with the book in my hand. I only made it to page 23 —just pass the breaking point for Eimar’s books— before I fell asleep with the book on my face. But I found myself in a moment of bliss with no screens, no music and lost in the feelings of the characters of the book. Because that is what I love about Eimar’s writing. You FEEL what her characters are feeling. There are no descriptions of what they are feeling, you simply become part of them —or they of you— and everything is raw and punches you in the face.
There is a certain rhythm that you have to get into but once you’ve managed, you are in. You are part of the story.