Book Review: The Wife of Martin Guerre by Janet Lewis

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This book was on the English reading list when I was in Year 12 but it wasn’t one of the texts my school selected for us. I’m almost glad because so many of the books we did read have gone on to become my least favourite – maybe it was the books themselves, maybe it was the way they were taught to us but I can’t deny the pattern.

The Wife of Martin Guerre could have been called “The Husbands of Betrande de Rols”. Based on a true story in sixteenth century France, Bertrande is married off at a very early age to the son of a well-to-do local peasant family. She’s too young to take on the duties of a wife so she returns to live with her own family. She’s fourteen when her mother dies and it is deemed an appropriate time to rejoin her husband and take up the role she has long been destined for. Continue reading

Book Review: The Blue Day Book: A Lesson in Cheering Yourself Up by Bradley Trevor Greive

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Published in 2000, The Blue Day Book might have been the early genesis of lolcats and funny goat videos. It is a collection of black-and-white animal photographs that have managed to capture a range of human emotions and Greive has arranged them and composed accompanying short sentences to evoke how we all feel this way sometimes, even those of us who aren’t human.

As the title suggests, the book is aimed at perking up anyone experiencing a “blue day”. For those experiencing a succession of them (and really struggling with depression and other mental health issues), it’s not going to be able to do much. But if it brings a smile to the general reader’s face, then it has done its job.

It’s hard to go past the zebras singing karaoke, if I have to pick a favourite image, although the bad hair day dog and the rhino blowing raspberries are a close second and third. Continue reading