How to Be Both – Ali Smith

Two stories of girls who lost their mothers young – modern day Georgia, and 15th century Francesco del Cossa (in that order, in the version I picked up from the library).

Schoolgirl Georgia is slowly coming to terms with her mother’s death, revisiting memories of happier times in particular their visit to Ferrara to see the frescoes painted (in part) by Francesco del Cossa over 500 years before, and who masqueraded as a male in order to make a living as an artist. Lots more going on, and I was very pleased that the intriguing and beautiful cover photo of Sylvie Vartan and Françoise Hardy had a part to play.

A book that took a while to warm too – but I’m glad I persevered.

Publisher page:How to Be Both – Ali Smith

Guardian Review: How to Be Both by Ali Smith review – playful, tender, unforgettable – Laura Miller, 13 September 2014