Melee's Reviews > The Illustrated Cider with Rosie

The Illustrated Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee
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Feb 03, 12

Read from February 02 to 03, 2012

I'm sure many of you goodreaders experience this, but whilst reading a book I'm mentally giving it stars before I'm done. (It's a reflex now, sadly.) While I was reading Cider With Rosie, my mental star level fluctuated between 3 and 5 stars, and I thought I would end up giving it 4; but as I am thinking about it now, about 5 hours after finishing, I don't feel compelled to give it much more than 3.

It took a while for me to get into the book. As with most books of this type, there's no cohesive storyline, but each chapter (or section) has a theme it explored. Not "theme" in the highfalutin sense of the word. More like vignettes, only not quite. Somewhere in the middle I was won over and started enjoying it more than I thought I would. I loved Laurie Lee's sensuous, lavender (not purple, mind you) prose. My favourite section was the one entitled "Mother". It was, of course, about Laurie's mother, and it was ever so poignant. She was a chimerical and thwarted woman, unparalleled in the village she came from. That section was beyond wonderful.

By the end, though, I was back to not enjoying it as much. The last chapter didn't sit very well with me, though I can't pinpoint why. It was the most sensual chapter, and while not explicitly so, I think that for me, personally, him ending the book on that note jarred the idyllic watercolour he had spent the whole book painting. It was also the chapter which revealed what "Cider with Rosie" means, which made me feel like he had spent the whole book building up to this, as if it were the most important thing.

I don't really know, though.

Alright, I'd say 3.5 stars - it was lovely to read, but overall lacking something I needed to feel a stronger, lasting connection.
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