I am always intrigued by the things which make us enjoy particular books. Especially when those books are unexpected – or rather, the enjoyment of them is unexpected. I often find this with my book club – most of the time the books chosen are not ones I would have picked myself and yet those are often the ones which I end up enjoying the most.
My most memorable example of that was This Must be the Place by Maggie O’Farrell. The blurb on the book did not engage me at all and I was not particularly looking forward to it but in the end I loved it. I don’t remember too much about the book now but I definitely remember thinking that the blurb did not do it justice. It was also one of the few books which the whole book club enjoyed – always a good sign!
My Mum had a similar experience recently. She has never been a fan of novels – much preferring to read something with more of a fast paced plot. She was not a huge fan of The Fortnight in September even though it has been so popular – I personally loved it – and she started reading The Feast by Margaret Kennedy expecting it to be much the same. In fact, she raced through it and enjoyed it very much indeed, even going so far as to say that bits of it were the most ingenious she has read.
It all goes to show that you really can never tell what a book will be like. What is the most surprising book you have loved?