I love Sunday afternoons these days, living here in this lovely place. After pottering around in the morning, catching up with emails and blogs (these days) and sorting out files and photos, Greybeard usually watches the football match from Saturday night, our time, which is recorded from the live match that is usually aired too late here because of the time difference. This is my time to read, unless of course, it happens to be a Man U game and then I might watch if I can stand to.
This Sunday it was time for me to read and so I finally turned the last page of Stella Duffy’s The Room of Lost Things, which I have been mentioning for weeks now, or so it seems.
Robert Sutton runs a dry cleaning shop which he took over from his mother when she retired from the business over forty years ago. The shop is located in Loughborough Junction, London and Robert knows his customers and the neighbourhood intimately. When Robert plans to sell the business he is approached by Akeel who is a British Muslim from east London. So that Akeel can transition smoothly into the business and Robert can teach him all he needs to know, the men work together for over a year. An unlikely but solid friendship results from their time together and so much more than the tricks of the trade are revealed about both men as the story unfolds.
Stella Duffy sensitively allows her characters to develop and with a keen eye for small details, paints a clear picture of life in a bustling London community. It took me a little while to get into this book at first because I felt as if there were too many stories going on, but then, the lives of the locals begin to intertwine and as this happen the past was revealed with unforeseeable results. I loved the book by the time I had finished it and was so pleased I had read through the agitation I felt at the beginning.
Read it for yourself and let me know what you think. I am now on the lookout for more Stella Duffy books so will keep you posted.
So, after I had finished the book, and the football was over, Greybeard and I trotted off to one of our local eateries for a late lunch-with-a-view. Perched right on by the ferry pier, almost on the water’s edge we sat and ordered lunch which we ate whilst we peered out to Honk Kong Island across the South China Sea.
Now you know why we are lazy on Sunday afternoon...........we stayed a while.........
.....................And then came the rain!
And, I wished I had been as smart as this lady and remembered my umbrella!!