Sunday, August 10, 2008

A Charm of Powerful Trouble at the Cocoa Book Club

PhotobucketRecently, I have been honored with the opportunity to write the first Cocoa Book Club post. Naturally, to cap off Unofficially Australian Week I chose my other favorite novel, the rapturously beautiful A Charm of Powerful Trouble, by Joanne Horniman.

You can read my full writeup here, but I'd like to leave you with another taste of this novel. Here is an excerpt from sister Lizzie's point of view:

It seems to her that this is a market full of people who look like animals: English animals from picture books of her childhood. That man there selling jewellery, with the small eyes and pinched mouth, is a rat; and the man making coffee, who has black and grey hair brushed back in a wave from his forehead, is a badger.

And she can't help noticing that there are a number of dainty mice, almost an infestation of them--the woman selling fairy wings and dresses, for example, and the one at the plant stall wearing overalls, and the girl walking by clutching her boyfriend's hand as if she's afraid he'll escape from her. They are small women, with small, pointed, pretty faces.

The market is achingly full of luscious food. Lizzie has a large person's appetite, and food attracts her. Watermelons and mangoes, stawberries, rockmelons and pineapples all call to her in high, fruit-like voices says "Eat me, Lizzie, eat me!"

She buys a large fruit salad served in half a scooped-out pineapple with a mound of whipped cream on top, and finds a quiet corner of the market to stop and eat it in. Food is to be savoured and appreciated, she feels, and shouldn't be eaten walking about, or when one's attention is on something else.

She finds herself near a stall where a man in a top-hot made of satin patches is selling coloured balls for juggling. He stands out the front and juggles as if he doesn't care whether people buy or not, and despite herself Lizzie finds herself watching him as she eats; her eye is drawn to him again and again....


Penny Lane said...

I read the review on cocoa's site! I am so excited to be a part of this books club and to read all these lovely reviews of books, books, galore!

By the way, i did NOT know that there was a sequel to Hard Love! I am in love with that book, so thank you so much for the tip!

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