Friday, 11 February 2011

Hunting Unicorns

"I'll let you be in my dream if I can be in yours....."

Bob Dylan

I've just finished reading Hunting Unicorns by Bella Pollen and really enjoyed it. I'm not quite sure where it came from..... I found it in one of the bookshelves at home. It's got such an intriguing title that I just had to find out what it was about.

It's quite an unusual novel written in alternating first person. The main protagonists are Rory Bevan (not one of the narrators) the son of an Earl and Maggie an American journalist. Their lives are polar opposites, his full of eccentric aristocrats living in crumbling mansions, hers working for a hard-hitting current affairs program that takes her to the trenches of war-torn countries.

This is the kind of book that you can put down for a while and then pick up and get right back into the story, it's very easy reading. It's quite humorous and although could be criticised for being full of characters who are stereotypically British Upper Class, Bella Pollen assures us in the acknowledgements that what may appear to be flimsy truths are actually based on 'urban myths, embarrassing anecdotes and deliciously weird stories' that flooded-in when people heard about the project. So it is, even if only very tenuously, based on some truths.

I found the characters very compelling, loved the eccentricity of Rory's family despite the skeleton in their cupboard.....because I do believe that the sins of the father, or grandfather for that matter should not be passed on to the children.

Like Alexander McCall Smith's Ladies Number One Detective Agency series books I found myself rationing out the last few chapters because I didn't want it to finish and lose my new friends...... one of those comforting books that as you lose yourself in the pages you feel like you are simultaneously slipping into a big bubble bath.....

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