My takeaway thought:

With every touch and every object, there lingers a memory.

Book Info

Title The Kindness
Author Polly Samson
Genre Literature/Fiction
Publisher Bloomsbury Press Agency
Date Published July 2015 (Hardcover), March 2016 (Paperback)
# Pages 304
Format Hardcover (also available in paperback & ebook)
PollySamson_TheKindness hardcover

Summary Comments

To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect.  Didn’t know too much about Polly Samson, except that she was the wife of David Gilmour of Pink Floyd.

So, why read the book, you might ask?  My husband is a big fan of Pink Floyd and David Gilmour and he introduced me to their music a number of years ago.  However, it wasn’t until David Gilmour’s latest solo album, Rattle That Lock, was released that I realized the role Polly Samson played in David Gilmour’s album and the last two Pink Floyd albums.  Polly Samson, an accomplished author, had written the lyrics to five of the songs on that album – in addition to writing lyrics and collaborating with David Gilmour/Pink Floyd on other albums (The Division Bell, On an Island, The Endless River).  One of my favorite lyrics by Polly Samson:  High Hopes from The Division Bell.  If you’ve ever listened to Rattle That Lock or any other David Gilmour/Pink Floyd album, you’ll know the lyrics are truly inspired (not to mention brilliant music).  That was all I needed to know.  And so I was off to read Polly’s latest book.

The Kindness is the type of novel you don’t want to speed-read.  You want to spend quality alone-time curled up in a cozy chair in front of a fire, or laying out under a big old oak tree at your quiet cottage retreat.

It’s about the journey of two people – their love, their loss and their life – over the course of 23 years. Significant and seemingly trivial events in the story’s timeline lead you to the realization of why life is so precious and why misunderstanding, withdrawal and regret can have a devastating impact.

Visually stunning with scenes of intricate desire, overwhelming despair, and moments of pure joy are set to a backdrop of the garden splendor of an English countryside cottage.  The Kindness conjures images that touch your heart and soul.

Slow and methodical introduction to the characters as the story builds.  Lovely how we get to know the characters as events unfold in the story. I feel like I personally know the characters and places and went through everything they did – heart-ache, love, anger, confusion, lust, despair, joy.  The hallmark of a great storyteller, in my mind.

Suspenseful moments abound over the course of the story’s 23 years. What I thought a little confusing at first (or maybe it was my impatience and speed-reading !), was really quite brilliant as I slowed down, paid attention, and kept reading through the chapters and finding out more about the story.  I was definitely hooked.  The relevance of the brass lock and key.  The “stink” of jasmine.  (I would love to live in that cottage.)  Two viewpoints of Paris. And, how a simple scene near the beginning of the story could come to mean so much later on.

Was it predictable?  Absolutely not.  Kept me guessing right up to the end.  Not unlike a good mystery.

Tear-jerker?  Yes, it was for me.

Favorite passage?  There are many and it’s difficult to pick just one.  But I did pick one.  I think it might just be representative of the gloriously descriptive nature of the book.

Bristles fall like timber into the snowy waste of his throat.

During a simple act of shaving, memories of betrayal plague Julian, the lead character.  Absolutely lovely.

This book brings to mind a quote from Paul Sweeney…

You know you’ve read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend.

If you haven’t read the book already, I highly recommend a read.  I don’t think you’ll regret it. To find out more about Polly Samson, visit her website: http://www.pollysamson.com/

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