Books can be a great way to explore themes, lands and feelings we haven’t yet explored. Sometimes we read just because we have to or because someone told us “you have to read this” I personally can’t stand that, because that story may not be for me. But when you find a book that marks you, a story that transforms you, writing that transports you, you often wonder- “how have I not read this before?”
Here are a few books to escape into, (with short summaries) so you can decide for yourself if that’s a story for you. (If you haven’t already read them of course.)
- Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (1938)
Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley againDaphne du Maurier
The most beautiful part of this book is the atmosphere it creates with its words. The beauty of nature, the estate Manderley in Cornwall, the silent eerie and mysterious vibration that is sensual in its writing. It will transport you.
It is cinematic in it’s progression and that makes sense as it has been adapted into movies, it just has that cinematic quality.
Summary: A young American woman (the narrator) on holiday in Monte Carlo marries a wealthy Englishman Mr. Maximilian “Maxime” de Winter, after a brief encounter. She is often told by the housekeeper Mrs. Danvers about Rebecca, Maxime’s first wife. By being compared to Rebecca again and again the narrator feels less than, and isolated, she constantly tries to impress and please while being psychologically pressed by Mrs. Danvers. The story and its characters are haunted by Rebecca and her unseen presence.
There is an air of mystery around Rebecca and the lives of all characters in the book, a strange montage of lurking past and obscure future, it is a great book to sink into.
- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1925)
This is my favourite book. It can be a slow-read even though it is a short book. But there is no comparison to any other book. This book stands at the top of lyrical writing that just plays with the heartstrings. It is a classic for a reason.
It creates a theatrical background and you can’t help but get deeply attached to how human the characters are. Whether they are good humans or bad they are so flawed that it makes this story that much more heart-wrenching.
Men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars.F. Scott Fitzgerald
Summary: This book follows the lives of Nick Carraway, Jay Gatsby, Daisy and Tom Buchanon in an entangled story about love, wealth, class, glamour and dreams. It is a whole world in its own right. It is sheer poetry and a statement about class, new and old money and glamourous 1920s lifestyle. The hero Gatsby is a hopeless dreamer, romantic who builds himself from the ground, looking for the lost love of his life-Daisy and navigating the high society, trying to build real relationships and gain real respect.
- The Waves by Virginia Woolf (1931)
This book is harder to describe as it doesn’t really have a plot. But it is a kaleidoscope of memories, the sea, lives and feelings in soliloquies by the 6 characters. This will be hard to read if you do not enjoy stream of consciousness, however, if you do, this is a great way to escape.
I am made and remade continually. Different people draw different words from me.Virginia Woolf
Tip: you can enjoy The Waves better if you don’t try to make sense of everything, see it as a thought process and let the words paint you an experience.