A is for Angelica
Gordon Kingdom struggles with the fate of his seriously-ill wife while patiently observing and methodically recording the lives of those around him: his neighbours.
He has files on them all, including:
-Don Donald (best f...more
Gordon Kingdom is fifty-two. He’s left his dreary job to look after Georgina, his wife, who is bed-ridden and incapacitated after a stroke. Gordon hasn’t told the doctor about his wife, making the choice to ignore reality even as it’s hitting him in the face with a spade, because he and Georgina have a pre-prepared plan, a system for her care, he knows he can look after her bet...more
The protagonist, Gordon, is well-developed, yet Broome does not employ the use of special techniques, or long descriptions to do so. Instead, what drives most of the characterisation is sim...more
One day Angelica moves in across the road from him and he opens a file "A is for Angelica" because he keeps written files on what his neighbours across the road get up to. It is some sort of therapy for him to help with his coming to terms with the state his wife is in - she's ha...more
And d'you know why that was?
Because it's very good, that's why!
Honestly though, I'v...more
He comes across at times as a mixture of Adrian Mole and the boy from The Curious Case of The Dog In The Night-time, but for all his quirks he is not a bad person.
The fact that he keeps his bed-ridden wife upstairs and tells nobody she has had a second stroke could be seen as sinister bu...more
The novel is not filled with plot twists, but instead focuses beautifully on a simple tale of love, guilt and helplessness, letting the everyday characters move the story on. The characters are brought brilliantly to life by Iain’s meticulous writing.
The story flows effortlessly and I quickly devoured it, reading it from cover to cover.
Gordon Kingdom watches the happenings on Cressington Vale, a street in a northern town, where he lives with his wife Georgina and dog Kipling. He keeps files of notes and his observations about the lives of those on the opposite side of the street. His wife has suffered two strokes, the first of which happened eighteen months ago, and he patiently cares for her at home, trying to cope, to continue some sort of...more
Criticism of the harsher aspects of our 'welfare' state is so deftly delivered, you don't notice it un...more
Throughout the novel Gordon tries to live two lives:
Life One: he takes notes on what he can see outside his window. He passes the time by preoccupying himself with the everyday. What people do and w...more
it is a rather unusual experience - writing a review, or rather an extended wording of opinion, on a book written by someone you know. well, i hope it’s not a big stretch to say that i know mr iain broome. i read his blog, i listen to his podcast and i’ve met him on his signing event, and most importantly he follows me back (!) on twitter. on the modern internet scale it’s safe to say that we’re acquainted.
“a is for angelica” is iain broome’s debut novel. he went the old fashioned way and publis...more
The real story, of the stroke-ridden wife and her tired, loving and obsessive husband is sad, touching and slow. Their love story is gradually told and is achingly lovely, Gordon's constant spying and noting of his neighbours' every move creepy but almost understandable.
A very interesting novel, different but moving.
Both tragic and funny. The protagonist and narrator is such a fully-formed character, and through his life and the way he tells his tale we experience the quaint and trivial occurring alongside deeper and darker events.