Book Title: One hundred Views of NW3
Author: Pat Jardin
Genre: Literary fiction
Publication date: July 2020
Why I chose this?
I had an email from the lovely Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources asking if I wanted to take part in one of her tours and of course, I said yes.
What it’s about
Arriving in London with £5, Stella rapidly begins hopping from one disastrous job, bedsit and boyfriend to another. All the time she is trying to paint pictures and write poetry. At last she gets a place in Hampstead but various men distract her from reaching the goal of holding an exhibition. An ever-changing group of friends moves her along from place to place. After each drawback Stela moves on, disaster after disaster, while the tally of of pictures shrinks to 36. Set in the heady days of 1960s Swinging London, this vividly charts one girl’s track through the untidy years at its height.
Pat Jourdan trained as a painter at Liverpool College of Art -some of her paintings can be seen on Saatchi.com. Always balancing writing with painting, she has won the Molly Keane Short Story Award, second in the Michael McLaverty Short Story Award, and various other prizes. One Hundred Views of NW3 is her fourth novel.
“ I am used to producing a painting from start to finish and self-publishing gives the same creative possibility. It has the same excitement, the change from private to public.”
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What I Thought
Well, I was captured by the first sentence of this book. Stella takes us on a journey throughout her time in London as a struggling artist who is trying her hardest to make ends meet and be able to afford food and rent in the ’60s. Stella comes across as a woman who is curious about the world and not afraid to show her vulnerability and shows a genuine interest in the people around her.
I did get confused with all the names that are mentioned throughout the book. I know we meet some of them on more than one occasion but I found it difficult to place where they were originally in the story.
The story was well-paced and I love how honest Stella is about her struggles throughout. How she flits from job to job because working as a female artist in London during a time where women were still seen to be mothers and housewives was difficult.
I love how realistic this was and I was routing for Sella throughout. A must-read.
Have you read One Hundred Views of NW3? Let me know in the comments