I’m not going to spoil it by saying what made me cry. It is rare for a book to make me physically cry. The first time I read it must have been 2010 as that is the year the film came out. It is rare for me to choose to re-read a book rather than just rereading as nothing new to hand. Maybe I would have re-read it sooner, but a lent someone my copy and they lost it. I have considered buying again charity shops but never seen, one in very good quality … Until I found the one I bought in Redford for £1. As it starts and ends in Edinburgh, I decided once I knew I was going to be in Edinburgh to read it whilst here. It is not not so pristine after the journey up and carrying it in a canvas bag yesterday next to wet towel and swimming costume.
It is the story of two graduates from Edinburgh and tells the same one day each year of their story for 20years. When the characters in the book graduated; I was still ‘a child’. They graduated in a time without mobile phones. My Mum bought me, my first mobile phone when, I went to uni; so basically I have had a mobile just about all my old life. Yet I can remember the time before mobiles; when people sent postcards or people had to be in their house to talk on the phone. Like the lady Emma, in the book I can relate to initial reluctance to have a phone. Therefore I don’t necessarily identify with the beginning of the book.
It would be a very different book, if it was set much later as the way people communicate has changed so much in 20years.
I do identify, with how views change in the first 20years after graduation, how you become scarred. Alas even though I’m not 20years post graduation, since I first read the book, talking about events that happened first hand to myself 20years ago is becoming less alien. For example, 20years since first Oasis concert. Perhaps it is this that made it more poignant this time found. There is a shocking bit that had me in tears last time. Knowing it was going to happen meant I got past that part. But, suddenly I was sobbing. Not just welling up proper sobbing during last couple of chapters and when I put the book down.
The book starts and ends in Edinburgh. Yet most of the action is in London; yet Edinburgh is referred to throughout the book. Yesterday reading the book, I realised I recognised a street mention from having been there, a couple of days before, so it is very authentic. I have checked google maps and the street at the start is in Edinburgh so, I want to see it as well as climb Arthur’s seat.