In my long ago school days, when I was reading a book I particularly enjoyed I would walk home reading it. It was a quiet half hour when I could slip into another fascinating world.
No homework, no house chores, no interruptions.
Simply the magic of living another life.
“I knew I could stay in this town when I found the blue enamel pot floating in the lake. The pot led me to the house, the house led me to the book, the book to the lawyer, the lawyer to the whorehouse, the whorehouse to science, and from science I joined the world.”
So begins Leslie Daniels disarming and appealing novel about a woman rebuilding her life. CLEANING NABOKOV’S HOUSE is prose elegantly written – filled with bits of razor-sharp deadly wit, sex, food, money and motherhood.
One usually writes about book after one has read it. Except I found myself carrying this book from room to room. Practically reading bits and pieces while I walked. This novel so grabbed me with pleasures on every page that sixty-nine pages into this novel I had to write and tell you about it. It is sixty-nine pages of dead-on funny storytelling. Not the kind of funny that you feel is forced and clever and should laugh. But funny in a black humour self-deprecating kind of way. Funny they way you often think about things but never voice them.
It’s a beguiling story of a woman who walks out on a loveless marriage – a thirty-nine year old divorced mother of two, an unpublished manuscript by Vladimir Nabokov, and a journey that is deliciously passionate, darkly comic and wise.
I’m off for my afternoon walk down to the river. Perhaps I’ll take my book and read page seventy of CLEANING NABOKOV’S HOUSE.