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themandelbaumgatemuriels39182_f.jpgAnyone who has been reading this blog over the past year will know that my love for Muriel Spark knows no bounds, and that since her death in 2006 (?) I have embarked on a project to read all of her novels in order, followed by her collected short stories and her memoirs. Only I’ve hit a bit of a snag with The Mandlebaum Gate. This is the first of her novels that I hadn’t read before (I devoured her stuff when I was a student) and it is set (and was written in) the early 1960’s about Barbara Vaughan, half-Jewish convert to Roman Catholicism who, while waiting to find out if her lover will obtain an annulment of his first marriage, goes on a pilgrimage to vist the holy sites in Israel and Jordan.

It started off really well, I was making great progress and now, slightly more than half way through, I’ve come to a complete halt. I do still want to know how things are resolved as Barbara apparently disappears in Jordan, but have no enthusiasm at the moment.  I refuse to entirely give up and will put it aside for a revisit later on, but am so disappointed, and not sure what to do about continuing the project until I know whether I’m ever going to finish this book. Oh dear.

And by the way blurb-writer, since when is a book written and published in 1965 and set in 1961 a historical novel?

Bride of the Book God

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Scottish, in my fifties, love books but not always able to find the time to read them as much as I would like. I’m based in London and happily married to the Book God.

I also blog at Bride of the Screen God (all about movies and TV) and The Dowager Bride, if you are interested in ramblings about stuff of little consequence

If you would like to get in touch you can contact me at brideofthebookgod (at) btinternet (dot) com.

The Sunday



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January 2008