Posted by: Corri van de Stege | March 25, 2009

Parcels – and ‘Remember Me’

Now, I must admit that none of it was the fault of Amazon, none.  Having harassed them for non-delivery of my two book parcels, and advertised my annoyance in my last post, they admitted that something must be wrong and so they resent all the books via priority delivery.  They arrived yesterday and I was mightly pleased. 

Then, today, I receive a notification from the post office to come and collect two parcels (I had literally just popped out to get some food from the local shop when they rang my doorbell).  I hurried across, annoyed that they were not offering to redeliver and then, at the postoffice I am told that these are my two Amazon parcels and that ‘we are very sorry but the postman who originally tried to deliver was new and probably had not left a card notifying me, but had simply dumped them somewhere in the post office.  We are really really sorry….’).  So you see, Amazon was not to blame at all and I swallow all my unkind thoughts there and then; now I hold a legitimate grudge against the postoffice.


Meanwhile, rain intersperses with sun, I am trying to keep focused on work even though all I can really think about is this threatening re-organisation, and at nights I read, and have now almost finished, Remember Me by Melvyn Bragg.   I really want to find some writing routine again, which I have to admit has completely gone out of the window.  Lots of thoughts going through my head, strengthened now by this book, Remember Me, which somehow sets off so many trails, but yet I am too restless and unfocused.  This is Bragg’s ‘autobiographical’ novel, written in memory of his first wife and for their daughter.   It conjures up the painful path of a love and marriage at first passionate and then dissolving into tragedy and misunderstanding and, well, simply growing up and young people developing into adults with different expectations and desires and needs from those they originally thought they shared.   Written by Bragg it is extremely well written and constructed, with a very distinct but readable style.  Yes, I’m enjoying this book and am greatly impressed by the way the different voices are interspersed, with a  focus on Joe, the narrator but also the third person voice; the narrator talks to his daughter as a commentary on what he, Joe, did and thought and as a critique.   This is interspersed with very brief third person voices of other characters, all finely balanced to make sure that there are different perspectives and that a fuller picture is given of Joe, and of Natasha his wife, than he could have provided in the limited third person voice.  I like the balance that is achieved of seemingly objectiveness, never sentimental, and a painful honesty.  This is what we go through when we grow closer to people, grow apart and then lose something on the way, ourselves, relationships and illusion.

As I said, the story is tragic but it’s a novel and gives the impression of having been written as a catharsis, as something that needed to be done.  Painful, yes, but also very insightful and as I said, so very well-written!



  1. Your blog is one of a kind- to tell your life to your granddaughter. What a very cool use of this new world. Glad to find you. 🙂

  2. Maggie: nice of you to pop by – thank you. I’ll return the visit!

  3. Maggie:you’ve got a lovely blog yourself! I’ll add it to my blog roll. Well worth visiting!

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