I lived in London for nearly 5 years and just before I left in 2011, I was given ‘Cider with Rosie’ by a good friend as a ‘..corner of English literature’ for my library. I always looked forward to reading it but I never quite found the right time. I carried the book back to Sydney, to New Zealand on holiday (twice), to Beijing and then to Hong Kong – always expecting to read it.
Back in January after finishing some exercise in the gym, I noticed the book was still in my bag (I hadn’t put the book back after taking it to New Zealand to ‘read’ over Christmas). So I took it into the sauna, opened the first page and started the novel, finally.
Reading in the sauna can be hard going as the body starts producing dynorphin (makes you feel very uncomfortable/uneasy) after about 10 minutes but you get a solid window at the start when reading is a joy. I didn’t go to the sauna much over the summer as our apartment is a sauna from June to September but yesterday, after many enjoyable moments in the Sauna, I finished ‘Cider with Rosie’. Every word warmed to a delightful 80 degrees.
What a super book as well. I read many passages twice just to enjoy Laurie Lee’s gift with the language. It’s a memoir and describes Lee’s own childhood growing up in a rural English village. The writing is so beautifully evocative and the characters so colourful you feel like you’re being thrown back through time and space right into the Cotswolds of the 1920s. This is a book of the senses – you can actually taste the cider near the end and it made me wonder how I might go about making cider here on the Gold Coast.
This is great English literature and well worth reading. Recommended!