Solitary Flower (surrealkitten) wrote in readandtell,
Solitary Flower

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The Agony of the Leaves by Helen Dunmore is about tea. The tea in the life of the official tea-buyer at Chez Panisse.

I've had this book for two weeks and read it at least five times. It's not a big book, mind. I can't stop thinking about it. I can't decide if I like it or not.

It's beautiful and it's about beautiful things. But in Dunmore's brand of beauty is a pretention and a hautiness that strangles me.

"Yes? Some Motorloaf?"
"...due to a high proportion of dark meat to light, and a light touch with the mayo..."
"I have decreased the sugar, since the gumdrops pack such a wallop."
"So convenient for one."

this last quote drives me particularly up the wall. She's not saying "one" as in 'one person' but rather, "One is always pleased to hear that the Pope's water is running clear."
I know people talk this way. I'm thrilled that they do. But somehow, when Helen Dunmore writes it down, my craw starts to itch.

Does anyone else have a book like this? Obsessed and love-hate ish?
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