Having mentioned Sarah Perry in my Virgin Suicides post, I should write up my post about having finished reading After Me Comes The Flood around Wednesday 9 July 2014. (Yes, I do have quite the backlog, thank you for noticing.)
Sarah was a founder member of the Morris Folk Choir, which I'm a member of, but had left (having left London) long before I joined, an old friend of Michelle and Jen and Jon and others, of whom everyone spoke (and speaks) very warmly, not least her beautiful voice.
People in the choir were rightly very excited that Sarah was getting her first novel published; I shared in that, at second-hand, and bought it.
It wasn't really my kind of book (at this distance, I remember it as a book which was too centrally atmospheric (if that means anything) for my taste - perhaps not unlike The Virgin Suicides in that regard, in fact), but it was well written and it deserved to be well-received, and I'm pleased that it was; you could see why people would like it, at the 'literary' end of things rather than the 'populist' end. Her second novel is being published in a couple of months, and it'll be good to read it.
Sarah is - through the medium of Twitter - probably the person I interact with online most who I've never met, and perhaps the only person with whom I'd say I have something one might call an online friendship (enough hedging there?). She's in my 'shortlist' Twitter list (80 users in there, though most not heavy users - my 'longlist' has 113 users, mostly more active users; I'm following 860 users...), because she retweets interesting things and starts/gets involved in interesting conversations, often relating to books, and she writes interesting and funny tweets. (Which makes me think a little of PG Wodehouse, whose memoirs I enjoyed much more than the fiction for which he is famous.) It would be nice to actually meet her one day.
(Possibly the first 'contact' I had online with her was retweeting a link to an article she'd written about her upbringing, in which I said it was nice to read something by someone who wasn't completely negative about their religious upbringing. It was, I think, this one, from 2 July 2014: 'Reading lessons of a religious upbringing without modern books'.)
First line: I'm writing this in a stranger's room on a broken chair at an old school desk.
(Last line deliberately omitted.)
Dedication: For RDP / Who makes one little room an everywhere / And for Jenny / Who was always on my side