Night Waking by Sarah Moss. An academic living with her family on a remote Scottish island struggles to cope with completing her book while looking after two demanding children. Been meaning to read this for a while: it's got good reviews and I liked another by the same author. Thought it might be too depressingly like real life, but the dark humour and sharp observation see it through. "Giles washed up as if he were starring in a film about a dad doing housework". I don't think I've read anything else that captures the endless grinding repetition of childcare, and the nauseating obliviousness of those around who don't understand the amount of work.
There's a lot of carefully crafted ambiguity though. The protagonists childcare falls just at the edge of acceptability, and there are hints at the protagonist amplifying her own problems.
There's a subplot about letters from the same island in the 19th century, which is moderately interesting. The past/present thing seems to be common theme in fiction aimed at women, at least at least judging by the Amazon Daily Deal.
Overall, a very good book that's brilliantly horrific if you've done serious hands-on parenting.
What I'm Reading 2
Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski. First novel in the "Witcher" fantasy series, though I think there was a book of short stories beforehand. Feel I got a bit suckered by hype that it was highly original fantasy with distinct East European influences. It's not bad for what it is, but the world seems a very standard post-Tolkien one of humans, dwarfs, elves and "halflings". It has some fairly contemporary politics, but it's not as gritty as Joe Abercrombie or as complex as George R.R. Martin.
Not sure if later volumes will break out of the mould a bit, but on the basis of this it's decent but fairly standard fantasy, more in the vein of David Eddings or Raymond E. Feist than anything new. Entertaining enough.
Socioeconomics. We can't go on pretending that poverty is solved by getting a job.
Politics. Jean-Claude Juncker blocked EU curbs on tax avoidance. Fabians on Labour's electoral problems, pre-Corybn. Ignore the problems immigration causes for workers and you end up with ugly solutions, via.
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