Every now and again, I read a book that leaves me breathless with its sheer brilliance and I am both uplifted and saddened.  Uplifted because, I didn’t just read the book, I lived it and breathed it for the days it took me to reach the last page.  Saddened because it made me feel so inferior as a writer.  Yet again, I begin to question this burning need I have to write at all costs.

Some of my favourite books spur me on to continue with what I think of as my vocation.   They remind me what it is to engage the reader and they reinforce my desire to write.

But then, along comes Gillian Mears with Foal’s Bread and a lump forms in my throat.  As I turn the pages, my breath catches and my heart races and I am astounded by the sheer beauty of the prose.  For a time after reading it, I am numbed and stupefied; unable to put pen to paper or finger to keyboard.

Despondent now, yet I continue to write.  No choice.

NOTE: Mine is an uncorrected proof copy that I was lucky enough to win (thanks Allen & Unwin and ANZ LitLovers). 

The answer to Friday’s Fictionary Dictionary… TANTAULUS is a locked case for wine bottles in which their contents are tantalizingly visible.


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8 responses to “Breathless

  1. I’m so glad you enjoyed it, I have yet to sgtart reading my copy. Yes, too many books, too little time, but holidays are here at last and so at least work won’t be getting in the way!

  2. mccardey

    I’m so looking forward to reading this, now 🙂

  3. I’m sure no-one will be disappointed. I have an uncorrected proof copy which can’t be quoted without comparison to the finally revised text. Otherwise, I would gladly give you some snippets. Sublime, superb, strikingly original, splendid…you get the picture, I’m sure.

  4. mccardey

    Picked up my copy today and I’m nearly 100 pages in and reading it with that heart-in-mouth feeling of “this is so perfect!”

    Breathless – yes. That’s it exactly.

  5. Hope you will pop back when you finish it and let me know what you think. Perhaps you will share your favourite passage.

  6. mccardey

    Popping back – because I just finished it a few minutes ago and yes, it was truly perfect. All the way through. I think there’s something quite extraordinary about it. I’m so glad to have read it – I think it will stay with me for a very, very long time.

    It was well worth the wait, wouldn’t you say?

    • Sixteen years is a ‘long time between drinks’ as the saying goes but, yes, I agree…well worth the wait.
      ‘The Australian’s Murray Waldren said of Mears: ‘She has depth and insight and lyrical skill worthy of unmitigated envy.’

  7. Pingback: Gillian Mears | Karenlee Thompson

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