Wednesday, 24 April 2013

#50books2013 Capital - John Lancaster

This book is pretty fat, and although I usually like fat books I was a bit concerned that in my current state of mind I would find it tricky to stick with. When I read the back of the book I was still concerned - the residents on 'Pepys Road' in London receive mysterious postcards simply with the words 'We want what you have' on the back. Sounded like a prolonged, and prehaps not particularly interesting 'whodunit'.

I should have had more faith. Despite not being much of a reader himself, my husband always seems to choose books I will enjoy and this was no exception. Of course, by then end of the novel you do find out 'whodunit', but not before you get completely sucked into the lives of the residents of Pepys Road. You get an interesting insight into the lives of a banker and his wife in the midst of the baking crisis; drawn into the familial relationships of the Indian family who own the shop and gripped by the growing relationship between the Polish builder and Hungarian nanny. Alongside these stories a Banksy-esque artist called Smitty and his grandmother tell their own intriguing stories. I found I couldn't put the book down. Although I sometimes became a little entangled and confused by the sheer number of characters (again, I blame my flaky state of mind at the time), I found many of them endearing and I loved the insight into many different elements of London - and British - society.

I'd really recommend this novel for an interesting, thought provoking and just simply good read.

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