Three novels by Barbara Trapido, in quick succession (I think all in the same weekend): Juggling, The travelling hornplayer and Noah’s ark. I love Trapido’s stories. There’s a sort of fairytale element to them: themes of twins and odd deceptions and weird coincidences, like Shakespeare’s comedies, but at the same time they’re firmly rooted in the material life and social circumstances of modern Britain. I like the way she always describes houses and clothes and delights in the gadgets and comforts that the middle-classes fill their houses with.
These were all particularly entertaining books as they’re loosely connected: characters from previous novels turn up again in completely different contexts (lovely Jonathan from Brother of the more famous Jack turns up in The travelling hornplayer as ‘the Novelist’, having an affair and a mid-life crisis). And they’re funny, full of eccentric familes and clever funny people. I’m tempted to track down all the ones I haven’t yet read in the library, but think I might leave it for a while until I really need some comfort reading.