As I've probably mentioned before, I tend to have several books on the go at one time. There'll be one book on my phone to read when I'm out and about, another on my bedside cabinet, and probably a third in the cavernous handbag I occasionally drag out with me. Sometimes, I'll curl up on the couch and read a fourth - the depravity of it all. I'd love to be one of those ordered people who can read books sequentially, from the first to the last of their year's assigned reading list. I'm not that kind of animal though. I hop about between books daily. Thankfully, I have a good memory so I rarely lose track of each storyline - phew.
I like to think that I'm a good 'judge of character' when it comes to choosing reading material. I'm rarely disappointed by what I choose, even if I skip some parts of the book, and most of my books become happy shelf buddies in my house.
For the last two months, however, I've struggled with a novel. I don't want to say what it is because I've enjoyed non fiction written by this author and the novel in question has obviously been meticulously researched. I can tell that the author loves their characters. I know the plot has elements that appeal to this author's attitude to life. They've expressed how proud they are of this novel. I really wanted to love it too.
But I can't. I struggle with the way the novel has been written, untidy in places, confusing in others. I can't remember ever giving up on a novel in the past so I've persevered with this one, willing it to improve, hoping that I'll find my way through it all. I'm about halfway through and finally, today, I've decided to concede defeat. I just can't read on.
I feel awful. Having read other material by this author - most of their non fiction books sit on my bookshelves - I feel like I'm betraying them, but there are other books on my list that I want to start, and finish this year.
I don't want to criticise this author because that isn't what this blog, or what I am about, so I'll simply put this novel back on my bookshelf unfinished and sadly move on.