Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Fictional Food Adventure: Reading The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

I was really not looking forward to reading The Wind in the willows. Frankly I was rather dreading it, and put it off so long that it is now the penultimate book in my Fictional Food Adventure. In so doing, I have actually saved myself a wonderful treasure because, most unexpectedly, I have fallen in love with it. 

I have always known the gist of this story and have heard bits of it time and time again. But never have I embarked on the whole book for myself. I always found Toad so inconceivably irritating that it put me off the rest of the book. But my parents adore The Wind in the Willows. It is very dear to my Mum, and Dad reads the Christmassy parts of it to her every Decmeber as part of their festive winter reading. Little phrases from it have been spoken around the house throughout my life and my Dad still quotes little nuggets as a matter of course. Now, reading it myself, the words leap off the page in my Dad's voice. And certain sentences now take on a whole new meaning: "I see it all now," and "whack 'em and whack 'em and whack 'em!

Badger is a much softer, more kindly fellow than the gruff, antisocial character I took him for. Toad is much more easy to care for, seen through the eyes of his loyal friends,  although he tests the limits of their patience, and I had no idea the Mole lived with Ratty at River Bank so long away from his own Mole End, having such lovely times with his new friend. 

The writing is beautiful and masterly, and the feel of the book is so gloriously cosy and delicious that I kept wanting to get back to it and be in that wonderful place once more. A world brimming with life and luscious undergrowth, all the sights and sounds and smells of the river, full of bulging picnic hampers and fireside suppers; an appreciation of simple pleasures where home is a beloved thing worth fighting for.

I am charmed to have found another dear book to love. I can honestly say that if it was not for this challenge, I would not have been tempted to pick it up. So with this surprising outcome, I intend to change my ways and not be so easily put off, but to go and give books a try that I've ignored.

No comments:

Post a Comment