Monday, 18 February 2013

The Art of Leaving by Anna Stothard

I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy of this book which was both physically pretty and also a bewitching story. It tells of Eva Elliott, the daughter of a pilot, who spent her childhood leaving schools, homes and cities, and now finds the prospect of goodbyes much more meaningful than the living in between. 

She seemingly drifts through her life as a book editor and reluctant girlfriend to lawyer Luke, until things get shaken up one rainy summer when a golden eagle escapes from London Zoo and an outgoing stranger starts worming her way into Eva’s life. At first glance these seem like fairly random occurrences but the way the author weaves the elements together into the storyline adds to the atmosphere of the story.

I didn't really like the main character Eva; I think with her unsociable personality, she isn't someone I would be friends with if she were real. However, I did like her fantasies and the little narratives she attached to things in her life, such as a regal persona for the escaped eagle Regina. My favourite fantasy was that of a magician, Dante and his lost love Sophia, who lives in a room filled with the magical detritus of past disappearing acts, such as cards, white rabbits, flowers and birds. I loved the imagery associated with magic acts throughout the book which gave the story an enchanting quality. 

This book is simply written and I really enjoyed reading it. If you enjoy engaging, chilled out reads, then this is the book for you. 

Out March 2013, £7.99                       
ISBN 978-1-84688-237-1 

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