Silver and Salt

Silver and Salt

A speedy post while Ezra naps and Vita is at nursery, in part to stop me from falling asleep as it seems that if I nap now, then I lie awake at night listening to the rest of the family snoring, panicking that I am wasting this short time when I could be asleep NOT sleeping and worrying about fidgeting in case it wakes Ezra up earlier than the early time which he wakes to feed, while feeling a fierce, very unhelpful jealous rage towards the sleeping bodies which surround me.

I have got shingles, for the third time in the last six months. It’s mother nature’s way of telling you to take better care of yourself, says the doctor. I do try, I say, wanting to ask: Did mother nature ever have to be an actual mother, looking after two small children over and above herself? Are you getting enough sleep? he asks. I’d like a blood test, I say.

It is too easy to fixate on the negatives – the lack of sleep, the shingles, the mess, the milk leaking out of sore boobs, and the laundry, the dementedness of it all. I don’t know how you have time to read anything at all, people say in bewildered admiration. How could I survive otherwise? I ask. I make the time as it is so essential, for me, to have that time thinking about something else.

So here is my review of the novel Silver and Salt by Elanor Dymott (I love that spelling of the name), which was in Country Life this week. I try to smile at the irony that essentially looking after two small children helped send the mother in the book completely mad.

Silver and Salt review




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10 Responses to “Silver and Salt”

  1. Caro McAdam Says:

    Oh Emily you poor thing – having shingles once must be bad enough! I can understand the compulsion to read but it’s having the focus and wherewithal to blog and review that awes me.. don’t know how you do it.. I do hope you’ll be feeling better and happier soon and it’ll be great to see you at the book club in September xx

    • emilybooks Says:

      Oh thanks Caro – that is kind of you. I am REALLY looking forward to talking about The Group with you and the rest of the gang in Sept. Hope you are very well. x

  2. ben shiriak Says:

    You are my hero(ine).

  3. BookerTalk Says:

    This sounds a very miserable time. Hope it does come to an end soon

    • emilybooks Says:

      Thank you – It is often wonderful, it is just the severe exhaustion that makes it so dementing at times!

  4. Cosy Books Says:

    It all seems neverending, but then one day you’ll actually have moments of spare time. It’s true!
    Lovely review of a book I haven’t heard of…one to watch out for. I do hope you’ve seen the last of any painful episodes of shingles. A colleague recently had shingles on her back; leaning back on a chair or even driving was agony.

    • emilybooks Says:

      Thank you. I have just had 3 nights of 6 hours-in-a-row of sleep and feel quite transformed. Hopefully that plus hardcore vitamins will banish the dreadful shingles.

  5. Barbara Abraham Says:

    Dear Emily A belated response to say how concerned I am about your recurrent bouts of shingles. I have known “strong men” (not man flu types!) take months off work to recover from shingles. I know you can’t take time off from being a mother but you still need to do whatever it takes to get better. I have been up in the Peak District for a couple of weeks, making time for two of my favourite activities – walking and reading – and am feeling revived and relaxed, although not quite ready to resume a hectic London life tomorrow… I have thoroughly enjoyed rereading The Group, which I think I first read about 45 years ago! My copy cost 35p and shows a reprint date of 1971.

    Look forward to seeing you on Sunday. In the meantime, as your doctor says, “take better care of yourself”!

    Best, Barbara

    • emilybooks Says:

      Thank you so much for your concern, Barbara. I am definitely on the mend and being very good about resting. The husband is looking paler with exhaustion by the second… Lucky you getting up to the Peak District, how invigorating! Looking forward to discussing The Group with you on Sunday.

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