Gransnet forums

Books/book club

A Year of Marvellous Ways: Sarah Winman

(3 Posts)
Kaiser999 Thu 21-Apr-16 15:45:21

I was lucky enough to win a copy of this book and I have thoroughly enjoyed reading it; in fact I'm re-reading it as it is so beautifully written, I felt I might have glossed over some of the excellent writing.

I found the whole story magical and I loved Marvellous as a character, so feisty brave and compassionate and the relationship between Marvellous and Drake is interesting as they both seem to depend on one another.

My husband read the book and while he found it intriguing he wasn't as enthusiastic about it as me. Is this more a woman's book?

I'm interested to hear other readers views.

mollie Thu 21-Apr-16 15:54:01

I agree. It took a chapter or two to fall into the rhythm of this story but I loved it once it clicked. I enjoyed her earlier novel 'When God was a Rabbit' so wanted to enjoy this one too and wasn't disappointed. It probably is a woman's story but I thought it reminded me of Neil Gaiman's stories and they are popular with men so perhaps it's an individual thing rather than a male or female thing...

Bluecat Sun 01-May-16 23:14:07

I didn't hate the book but I didn't love it either, though I wanted to. The blurb referenced Dylan Thomas and Angela Carter but Winman isn't in their league, and I think that the constant effort to be "poetic" is the book's biggest weakness. Combine that with magical realism and there were a few moments when the prose made me grind my teeth.

On the other hand, if you just follow the characters and let the writing wash over you, it is mostly a quite soothing read. Comforting, almost, as even the more dramatic moments are rarely shocking. I wasn't very taken with Marvellous herself but I found Drake, the traumatised ex-soldier, quite interesting and I cared about him whereas Marvellous never seemed like a real person.

All in all, it was an enjoyable read but not one I felt passionate about. I would read more of Winman's work if I encountered it but I wouldn't go out of my way to seek it out.