if nobody speaks of remarkable things

My book recommendation of the week.

I’ve just read, finished, and straightaway re-read if nobody speaks of remarkable things by Jon McGregor which Jenny gave me because it reminded her of my blog. Fine praise indeed.

It’s one of those books with a story that reels you in and drags you forward and makes you read too quickly and miss the depth of details which makes it what it is. It’s one of those books with an ending that throws your perspective on everything and compels you to read it again straightaway. And it’s one of those beautifully crafted books which is a bit like a poem or a painting or a song which a) resonates with something that you can’t quite put your finger on and b) makes you want to quit your life and be an artist.

It’s quirky and poetic and its capturing of reality makes you smile, but it’s also gritty and sad.  There’s a heavy nostalgia, regret, inevitability about it, but in a normal this is life kind of way. Like Enduring Love, which left me feeling a little bit sick every time I see a hot air balloon, this book is full of moments and images that have etched themselves on my mind’s eye and left me a little bit changed.

He says my daughter, and all the love he has is wrapped up in the tone of his voice when he says those two words, he says my daughter you must always look with both of your eyes and listen with both of your ears. He says this is a very big world and there are many many things you could miss if you are not careful. He says there are remarkable things all the time, right in front of us, but our eyes have like the clouds over the sun and our lives are paler and poorer if we do not see them for what they are.

He says, if nobody speaks of remarkable things, how can they be called remarkable?

He looks at her and he knows she doesn’t understand, he doesn’t think she’ll even remember it to understand when she is older. But he tells her these things all the same, it is good to say them aloud, they are things people do not think and he wants to place them into the air.

Here’s to the remarkable things that will come our way today and to unveiled eyes to see them.


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