Friday, 7 September 2012

R J Askew

Ron Askew has a background in journalism and is obviously a man who loves words.  So do I and I love his work!

Watching Swifts  Watching Swifts

My review -

This book tells the story of a relationship which takes place over a few summer months. A woman who is a war photographer meets a man selling ice-cream in Kew Gardens and he starts to draw her. Over the months she returns and he continues. As he draws, he talks, initially about the swifts he constantly watches. Most of the book is his words and a scattering of poems as his own life story comes out. He also tell us about some of the other workers and some of the visitors.

If you love creative language you will warm to this book very quickly. Tom, known to his fellow workers as Leonardo because of his drawings, gradually lets his own story come through and we see how he has coped with a life full of problems. He has become a rounded person unlike some of those he tells us about. The gardener, Parker, an angry and dissatisfied person, finds an equilibrium in a surprising manner.

There are real depths to ponder here; redemption after disastrous failings; the difference between 'real' and 'perfect' love, for example. It is a book that will stay with me and I loved reading it. It's one of those you don't want to finish.

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