I am not sure if it is something in the book, or if it was just that once I had vented last week about my feelings in relation to Noah I was freer to read, but this week the reading was much easier and much more enjoyable.
It was a very eventful section of the book! The war ends but at One Tree Farm life is getting harder as Roley's illness continued to get worse, Noah has to take on more and more of the farm tasks, but on the good side of the coin Lainey finally got her chance to shine.
I did think that the way that the author described the worsening of Roley's still unnamed illness was exceptional. From what I gather from the few news articles there are around, the author may have been through similar health experiences and that would certainly give her first hand experience of the various symptoms.
I was so pleased with the chapters that dealt with Lainey's performance in the show! It had that sort of feeling to it of the triumph of the underdog - at one point I was reminded of the scenes towards the end of Strictly Ballroom, with the crowd going wild and the winning couple all triumphant. I loved this quote from page 281:
So that on this day, even if never again, she'd know that the impossible becomes possible when the valley inside your belly lays itself open, running as if with deep rivers and trees so steep and green it must be how One Tree Farm and others looked before the hills were cleared.
She would cherish the quality of a showground forever, its circle so calmly fenced. She would remember how an announcer's voice could take on the quality of a prophet. How for a moment after landing it was as though streams of sunlight, not old leather reins at all, were connecting her hands to Landwind's mouth.
You will notice I haven't said much at all about Noah so far. She is certainly the character that I react most vividly to but not in a good way. When Lainey came home, I just wanted to slap her for the way that she destroyed her daughter's happiness, especially given how much Lainey looked up to her;
All her life up until then, Lainey Nancarrow had watched her mother, copied her mother, and just when she'd succeeded behind her wildest imaginings, just when their Chalcedite foal, their Landwind, had really jumped - oh, like a bird, everybody had kept on saying - too late Lainey realised she'd gone too far.Noah seems to be heading into full on alcoholism and becoming hard and bitter, and for me, it is painful to watch. As the child of an alcoholic, it is hard to watch Noah unraveling through the pages of the book.
This week, we finish off the book, and I hope to see good things for Lainey, but I suspect we have some more hard yards to work through first, because that just seems to be the way this book is.
For other thoughts about this week's section head over to the other readalong participants:
The Book Nerd Club
The Talking Teacup
My Journal of Becoming a Writer
Fantasy vs Reality
Slightly Addicted to Fiction
The Book Nook