Gone But Not Forgotten…

It is two years today since the wonderful and bookish influence on my life that Gran was sadly passed away far too young and far too soon – we still had so many books to talk about and bookshops to go to. It’s weird in some ways as it feels at once much longer since she died and also like it was yesterday. The raw bits from the final few weeks have gone and the happy memories (of which there were many) are  much stronger now which is lovely. I still miss her hugely and still think of phoning her when I finish a book or ponder what I should read next or when I read one of her favourite authors latest books and wonder what she would have made of it. Or kick myself that she couldn’t have seen me judging a prize like Fiction Uncovered and have come to the party where she would have been in her absolute element. None of this will ever go or fade, especially when she makes spooky appearances in copies of her books I have inherited as I mentioned recently. God love her. I’m just still slowly acclimatising I guess.

Me and Gran

I was umming and ahhing about how to make her reading influence mine again this year; I delved into Graham Greene after she died (which was hit and miss) and then last year finally read  (and even met) Rose Tremain and fell in love with her prose and stories as Gran had many years before me and kept urging me to read her. So I was pondering who might be next, if I was going to do it. Well I am, and the answer came to me when I was moving books on shelves earlier this week, as I have three shelves of books I inherited from Gran… and one author I suddenly realised was in quite abundance.

Oh Shute!

Oh Shute!

Nevil Shute! I have myself only read one of Nevil Shute’s novels, On The Beach, which I was dubious about reading way back when it was chosen for a book group I was a part of in London. As it was, and despite the fact it is set on a submarine which is even worse than a book being set on a boat, I thought it was a marvellous novel which as stayed with me longer than I thought it would, I remember being very emotional at the end. Anyway Gran had quite a collection, which as I cannot ask her I am assuming she had read as I remember one particular cover of his novels from my childhood as it was on her bedside shelves in Matlock Bath for years and years and years. Weirdly it is the only one that I cannot find…

The memories...

The memories…

I wonder if my aunty Alice inherited it, it was probably the fact we had an Alice in the family that made it resonate in my brain. So I am going to track down that edition of A Town Like Alice in the next few weeks and get a copy, I know it won’t be Gran’s but the image has a nostalgia. I am also slightly miffed I can’t find her edition of Requiem for a Wren which I know is meant to be amazing. Anyway… I haven’t decided which of these books, or his books, I will read or in what order yet but I will be reading some Shute over the autumn and probably the winter and would love it if any of you would like to join in. I would also love it if you had some recommendations for me on which Shute novels are particularly brilliant. Thank you – and thanks Gran… I hope!


Filed under Granny Savidge Reads, Random Savidgeness

13 responses to “Gone But Not Forgotten…

  1. Ann

    Oh boy, I am in tears reading your memory of your grandma. The very same thing has happened to me since my mother died and she was not young. But I still to this day want to call her and share some type of news with her. Honestly I don’t think Simon that will ever end either?

  2. Jim

    I also read a Nevil Shute book earlier this year – also On The Beach. Kind of a weird dreamy book – I wasn’t too mad on it but I think as you said on the review post, it did stay with me for a while. Anyway – I picked up On The Beach earlier this year second hand – maybe it is your gran’s? My review is here – and you can see the cover here too – http://www.jimsbooks.co.uk/on-the-beach-by-nevil-shute/

  3. Anna

    I read A Town Like Alice earlier this year and loved it. It really wasn’t what I was expecting especially after the first chapter, but I found it to be very charming and a great read. Hope you can track down the right copy!

  4. This is such a lovely post! She’d be proud. A Town Called Alice is a very good read. Hope you either hunt her copy down or get a new one to read.

  5. Sylvia

    Made me cry before breakfast, young Savidge. What a lovely post. (And ‘A Town Like Alice’ is a a great book.)

  6. Joolie Ferret

    There’s nothing quite like a Nevil Shute – sometimes bonkers, frequently geeky, often moving. Would definitely recommend Round the Bend and No Highway.

  7. Dee

    My mum is a great fan so I read them all as a teenager and loved them. A Town called Alice and No Highway are great

  8. sharkell

    I read Pied Piper a couple of years ago and that spurred me to buy A Town Like Alice which I have not yet read so I would join you if you chose that one.

  9. My Nonny died 14 years ago this coming December, also too young. 14 years later, I still get the urge to call her at least twice a week. My mom and I are always wondering what she would have to say about this or that.

  10. quinn

    Thank u for bringing Gran into all our lives.
    Can’t believe u didn’t mention Thomas of Hogglestock who is a strong Shute fan and I tried Shute because all his recommendations work for me.
    The first Shute u should read (i’m being so bold!) is “In the Wet” if u are a fan of The Queen. I particularly liked this one i think cause the Queen is exactly as i pircture her and lovely. So just like ‘Uncommon Reader’ part of the joy of these books for me was having Queen Elizabeth make a guest appearance.
    Have big summer fun. quinn

  11. Lyn

    I’ve read a few Shutes over the last year or so but read On the Beach & A Town like Alice years ago. I’d recommend ATLA & also The Far Country.

  12. Sarah

    As others have said, this is such a nice tribute to your Gran. Also, like others, it reminds me of my mother. Even though she passed four years ago this August, I still want to call her and tell her what I am reading or go to a bookstore with her when I would visit. She took me to the library, bought me books, and helped me through some reading challenges during my early school years. Here’s to all of our reading mentors!

  13. I’ve not read Shute so I’ve no recommendations, but I do hope you can find a copy of Alice.

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