I like this blog challenge – ‘It’s Monday! What are YOU reading?’ – for those of us who blog fully or partially about books as a prompt to let readers know what we’re reading.
I often post reviews once I’m finished with a book, but I like the idea of posting a book I’m reading on a particular day of the week, no matter where I am within the novel.
Since I have pretty full weekend plans, and ambitious plans to edit some of my own work (I’ve been procrastinating FAR too long), I believe I’ll still be reading the same book Monday that I am Friday, Hungarian author Magda Szabó’s 1987 novel The Door.
I am actually amazed I only recently discovered this novel, just out in a new English translation. When I lived in Prague and Vienna, I tore through Czech and Austrian novels, and kept an eye open for Hungarian authors as well, I never came across Szabó. Better late than never…
This is a beautifully written, slightly claustrophobic novel of a young Hungarian writer – whose name we never learn – who employs Emerence, an elderly woman, to become her housekeeper. Everyone in the neighborhood has tremendous respect for the older woman, but no one seems to know much about her or her past, which would be odd for the Hungary of the time. And she never invites visitors past her front door. At the job interview, we quickly learn it is not the author to select Emerence, but the older woman to decide if she wishes to enter into the author’s service – and life.
And enter into the author’s life she does, filling every sphere during their 20-year relationship, spanning the 1960s to the 1980s. Slowly, a relationship builds between these two very different women in a manner that is all-consuming. At this point, I am not quite certain what it is building up to, since the novel opened foreshadowing events that will happen later … and I haven’t yet connected all the dots. Still, Szabó’s writing carries the reader along in this unusual tale, and I am enjoying the journey.
So, readers: It’s (not quite) Monday! The Door is what I’ll be reading. What are YOU Reading? C’mon, we’re headed into those cooler autumn months, when we can curl up with a blanket, warm tea and a good book. I’m in need of good tips! Do share yours…