by Louisa Treger
I love books, and I love to talk about books, but as a “book blogger” I struggle with excitement over sharing the experience I just had, with ruining the next reader’s unwrapping of an amazing present.
“The Lodger” is one worth unwrapping. And do it slowly in order to savor the journey.
Confession time: I’m one of those readers who has a type. I like contemporary fiction based in the US. Am I dull? Yes, I am. But the first step in solving a problem is admitting…..ok, I just like what I’m familiar with as a person. So, how did I end up reading a novel set in early 1900s London? Twitter.
If you are a reader, and not using Twitter to discover new authors, you are missing out. I stumbled onto the fact that writers are also people and like to talk to one another, as well as interact with us normal folk. Whereas some fan girl over cute actors, I am an author fan girl. I am humbled to get a like or retweet of my amateur words from someone who is creative and brave enough to share their souls within the pages of a book.
Really savvy bloggers and authors frequently run contests on Twitter to share books, in print, e-books and even audio books. I saw a contest for “The Lodger” and didn’t read a thing about it – I entered because the cover was beautiful. I was drawn to it. Luckily, I received an autographed copy from the UK which was also cool to receive international mail.
I opened the book and started page 1 having zero clue about the plot. If you are a longtime reader of this blog you know that I became ill in 2013 and have struggled to return to my pre-injury reading ability. Things are still somewhat hard for me. I get distracted easily and if a book, tv show or movie doesn’t draw me in quickly, I fast lose interest and move on. Here’s the big deal about Treger’s book – I finished it in 2 days. That is a celebratory moment and says a lot about the writing. I wanted to know more.
My husband saw me reading and reading and asked what the book was about – even at @100 pages in, my answer was “I don’t know”. I couldn’t pigeonhole this novel into a category. Ultimately, for me, it was about a woman discovering herself and allowing us to watch the layers be pulled back. Without spoiling your own discovery, Dorothy is a young, single woman in the city who struggles financially and has to make choices. Ah, the choices. So many, so interesting, so unexpected.
Treger manages to capture characters who create all kind of emo. I was intrigued, confused, perplexed, angry….and at any given time I likely would have chosen much differently than the main character did in the end. What’s really wonderful about this novel is the writing style. You feel transported to a time when words flowed and were spoken with feeling, yet Treger manages to do so in such a way that reading her prose is effortless.
By the time the novel was done, and I was firmly #TeamDorothy, I discovered this wasn’t all just fanciful imagination. Treger based this novel on real people, and her use of Dorothy Richardson, discovered during thesis writing, made “The Lodger” even more intriguing. When you finish a book, and want to find out more about the subject or characters….that is time well spent.
And if you ever want to make this reader squeal, a signed book is your surest bet 🙂