The Map of Love – Ahdaf Soueif

I spent a lot of my teenage years and early 20s reading blockbusters of various types, largely working my way through historical novels, of which I rate Dorothy Dunnett’s 2 Scottish series most highly (but more about Lymond and Niccolo elsewhere). Since joining the Clapham commuting masses, the opportunities for indulging in longer works of fiction have been reduced. However, The Map of Love proved worth lugging between CJ and Moorgate, and even all the way out to Walton.

The novel deals with the story of a London widow who travels to Egypt in the closing years of the 19th century seeking inner peace after the death/demise of her husband.

A true blockbuster complete with parallel love themes, the novel also educates the European reader on “Victorian”,

Fattypuffs & Thinifers (Patapoufs et Filifers) – Andre Maurois

Readers who liked this, also liked Molesworth

I first encountered this book as a kid, lurking on the bookshelves at The Davids – family friends who also introduced Tom and me to Richard Scarry and Josephine Tey (and Jacob’s Sheep and Laphroaig).

Short enough for an under-10 to read over a weekend, and deceptively categorised as a ‘children’s novel’, this slim (5mm) gem of a story (with great illustrations by Fritz Wegner) is a gentle lesson in tolerance and co-existance, between individuals and families, nations and races.

One to read, read and read again – to yourself and to nephews and neices – in fact any ‘kid’ of any age you know.

I’ve still got my (battered) copy, 45p RRP and still going strong if you want to borrow it……