Tuesday, 11 January 2011
Anything But Ordinary: The Nine Lives of Cecile by Cecile Dorward
I started this book way back in December, then it managed to get left at home over the Christmas break and has been sadly waiting to be picked up all this time.
Cecile Dorward is an ecentric old lady who spent her later years (60+) travelling the world in her Land Rover.
The book is separated into her 'nine lives', starting with her childhood living in that limbo of 'people with money' who actually have very little money when you look past the grand house and the society they keep. We then follow her through her first job as one of a company of famale decorators, early marriage and then on to har travels. The travels start at first in a canal boat exploring the bywaters of England. But as she gets older the journeys get more adventurous, taking her across the world, including driving overland from Australia to the UK.
When I first picked up this book I loved it and quickly read the first two-thirds. She was ecentric, daring and an original. Although she has a strange obssession with her lack of sex. I'm not sure if the fact I hadn't picked up the book in a good three weeks had an effect, but the last part detailing her journeys around the world alone seemed to suddenly lack excitement. It annoyed me that the last 20 years of her life, and the most adventurous years were crammed into such a small space, and we wasn't given a huge amount of description of the places she travelled and the people she met (apart from the overly amourous men!), it suddenly felt like she had lost interest in telling her story. Still I am glad that I read it, and would give it a strong 3 stars.