I’m not one for hyperbole, I like to tell it like it is, perhaps a little flourish here and there, but generally I’m about as subtle as a brick through your front window. But I’m reading The Memory of Love by Aminatta Forna, (mostly because I was in Foyles and as it was shortlisted for the Orange prize for fiction and they had it on one of their plinths, I don’t know how anyone can not buy a book off a plinth) and it is quite frankly the best book I have ever read. ever.
Now in all honesty I immerse myself in a book when I read it, burrow into it and when forced to emerge, for food or work say, I still have an open door in my mind that allows me to slip straight back to wherever it is that the story is set. However, having said that, I have the memory of an amnesic goldfish and once finished, I cannot remember a single stand out line, that has made me laugh out loud, or force down the lump in my throat. I remember the characters, the story, the gut churning intensity of particular parts but that’s it. So I’ve been told that I have awarded the best book ever to any number of books I have read, but as I can’t find anything in writing, I’m sticking with this one.
I’ve still got about a hundred pages left and it took me to about half way through the book to actually work out what it was that drew me in and embraced me, whilst simultaneously slinging the other books out of my favourites pigeon hole. It is quite simply the prose, I would like to describe it, would like to comment on how whether it is describing someone cooking breakfast or it is wrenching you into chilling circumstances, you can but saviour every word, sentence and page and bask in the sheer enjoyment and pleasure that comes from reading it. I would like to describe all that but I fear it would be like someone who is given a packet of crayola crayons and told to draw the sistine chapel, the effort would be there but the attempt would be somewhat short.
so just read it. I have a number of favourite books and will probably put a list up here at some point, but certainly at least until my next book, this is numero uno.
Click on the pic below to go to Aminatta’s website