Sundays in bed with ………Still Life

Sundays in bed with is a meme hosted by Midnight Book Girl but I came across it recently on Jill’s Book Blog. It is simply a chance to share the book that is by your bed at the moment (or that you wish was by your bed).

And breathe! After a very hectic week of working and travelling to Derby to perform at the theatre, it’s lovely to just relax. And an extra hour in bed too! That means an extra hour for reading.

Still Life by Sarah Winman

It’s 1944 and in the ruined wine cellar of a Tuscan villa, as the Allied troops advance and bombs fall around them, two strangers meet and share an extraordinary evening together.

Ulysses Temper is a young British solider and one-time globe-maker, Evelyn Skinner is a sexagenarian art historian and possible spy. She has come to Italy to salvage paintings from the ruins and relive her memories of the time she encountered EM Forster and had her heart stolen by an Italian maid in a particular Florentine room with a view.

These two unlikely people find kindred spirits in each other and Evelyn’s talk of truth and beauty plants a seed in Ulysses mind that will shape the trajectory of his life – and of those who love him – for the next four decades.

Moving from the Tuscan Hills, to the smog of the East End and the piazzas of Florence, Still Life is a sweeping, mischievous, richly-peopled novel about beauty, love, family and fate.

I have to say that at the moment, this one really isn’t doing anything for me. It’s classed as ‘Literary Fiction’ and I’m never quite sure what that means but the genres that I really enjoy such as crime and fantasy definitely aren’t classed as such. Maybe that is saying something about the type of books I enjoy. To me, this all seems a bit detached and the characters aren’t grabbing me so far. It should be a novel that I love as it’s a sweeping historical epic but I’m not really engaged with it so far.

I remember feeling the same way about Stonor some years ago when everyone was raving about that one and I didn’t really feel anything for it. I’ll read some more later and see how I feel than.

If anyone is interested, here’s a picture of myself and my fellow courtesans in our performance of Sondheim’s A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum yesterday. I’m on the left of the centurion😃

Happy Sunday Reading everyone!


Author: Janette

Recently retired Ex-Assistant Head of a large primary school in Leicestershire although I seem to be in school teaching quite a bit still.

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