The Larton Chronicles is a gentle, humorous amble through the English countryside meeting Michael’s relatives, Robert’s long-suffering agent, the Irish showjumping team, Robert’s beloved Aga, and the folk from Larton itself. Damp dogs, hard-ridden horses and snooty cats roam pages filled with the story of Rob and Mike – fighting, laughing, loving and building a life together.
It was a present from my mate Jenre cos she loves me. Minions please take note.
Dislike/like (ending on a high note):
Dislike~ There is nothing I really disliked about this book – far from it in fact – therefore my so-called issues might seem a little petty
cos they are. *ahem* I have to admit that the character of Michael pissed me off at times. He just seemed so self-absorbed with his horses, his drinking with his mates and his carelessness with money. By the same token, he could be amazingly caring and he was completely devoted to Robert. Not an irredeemable character, but still…
Like~ I adored Robert. He was by no means perfect either – yeah, contrary I know -, but where Michael grated on my nerves Robert appealled to me with his grumpy personality and acerbic wit. He was a total shit. *Hmmm. This is beginning to ring bells.* I also loved the way the author conveyed how Robert begrudgingly fell for his new home, neighbours, family and everything associated with country living. It was terrific.
Dislike~ This is going to seem weird; however, something about the setting put me off and this was the sense of time. For the life of me I couldn’t get a good grasp about the period in which the book was set and, although I knew months and years were passing, I had no idea how long it had been. When the reader finds out that Robert and Michael had been together for 8 years towards the end of the book, I almost spat out my mouthful of red wine! This is good in a way because I obviously got caught up in the story, yet it did niggle at me. Told you it was weird.
Like~ How great to read a story set in the heart of the English countryside! Interestingly, the book was both familiar and unique to me. Familiar in that it contained some of the ‘typical’ English characters you get in this kind of setting, including the reclusive writer and the horse-mad local gentry. Unique because it told the tale of two seemingly very different men falling first into friendship and then into love. This, for me, contributed to making it such a great reading experience.
So, what I think: If I had to describe this book in one word it would be ‘charming’. That might seem a bit patronising and dismissive to some, but The Larton Chronicles is an utterly delightful story which I think many will enjoy.
Those intrigued should also go read Jenre’s review. She is much better at this kind of thing. 🙂
‘Tasting’ is my version of a mini-review where I talk a (very) little about what I liked and disliked about a book as well as who I think the story will appeal to.Oh, and I’ve added a bit about why I picked up the book in the first place – sometimes this can be interesting to know.