I’m just wondering if the kind of books you read changed during lockdown? I think mine did.
For Christmas I received the book, Just My Luck by Adele Parks, which was a book I very much wanted to read after listening to Adele Parks’ interview on the Richard and Judy Podcast.
However, when I did sit down, looking forward to a satisfying read, I’m afraid I was disappointed.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of Adele Parks and the book was well written, as to be expected, but I actually found the subject matter to be quite uncomfortable.
The story centres around three couples who have known each other since their children, now teenagers, were born. They were part of a syndicate, buying a Lottery ticket using the same numbers each week, and gathering at each other’s houses on a Saturday night to see if they had won.
However, the week before the story begins the friends fell out and two couples dropped out of the syndicate. The woman who had always been responsible for buying the tickets, though, bought a ticket the following week, using the same numbers. And of course, this week, the numbers came up and the winning ticket was worth £18 million.
Naturally, after all the years they had invested in the syndicate, the other two couples felt that they were entitled to a share of the winnings, but the husband of the winning ticket, in particular, felt that they were not entitled to anything and a Lottery investigation ensued.
So, what made me feel uncomfortable when reading this book was how winning that kind of money changed people’s personalities and broke down relationships – more than just the three couples involved. I’m sure that’s exactly what Adele meant to convey but I found that I didn’t like reading about such greed and the lengths people were prepared to go to, to get what they wanted and felt they deserved. I did read to the end of the book although I had to admit that I turned the last page over with a sense of relief.
My reaction made me think about the types of books I’ve been finding enjoyable recently and it was only then I realised that during lockdown I have been seeking out books and authors to make myself feel happy, rather than books that present a challenge. I’ve even revisited books I’ve previously read and enjoyed to be certain of a happy outcome during such uncertain times.
Don’t get me wrong, I have read a few thrillers and particularly enjoyed Blood Orange by Harriet Tyce, Invisible Girl by Lisa Jewell and The End of Her by Shari Lapena but on the whole I’ve tended to favour more feel good books by authors such as Lucy Diamond, Debbie Johnson, Fiona Gibson, Cathy Bramley, Veronica Henry, Erica James and Karen Swan. That’s not to say the characters in these books don’t experience hardship or emotional trauma, it’s just that I know that it’s all going to come good in the end.
I did read some new authors and enjoyed The Flatshare and The Swithc by Beth O’Leary and In Five Years by Rebecca Searle, but overall I’ve felt that I needed to find comfort in my reading matter.
What about you? What have you been reading over the last year and have your tastes changed during lockdown?