When I read the books on the 00’s and 90’s list, I basically order each book and read them once they’d arrive, However for the 80’s I wrote down each book and ordered them in handfuls. I had an inkling that there would be a lot that were out of print and it could take me a while to receive them. It turned out that I was right and out of the 155 books on the 80’s part of the challenge there are 64 that had to be ordered through abe books. The First Garden is one AND it took six months for it to arrive from Canada to Malta. The moral of this story is that it does pay to think ahead.
Flora is an actress in France, however she gets called to play Winnie in Beckett’s Happy Days in Quebec so she moves there. On the way she tries to seek out her estranged daughter Maude and meets up with her boyfriend Raphael. On this journey Flora starts to mix up her past roles in the theatre with her past life as an adopted child and then her early years as an actress. In this encounter with her past Flora rediscovers herself and learns how to cope with her present life.
I have to say that this was a pleasant read. There are moments of beauty and ugliness but I admit that it didn’t make my jaw drop or make me claim that it changed my life. It’s a good read. It’s poignant in places and you feel satisfied when you close the book. It’s a solid novel.