As part of this week’s section on the “Five Best Books about growing older”, I struggled. I have never been one to read novels that are about “coming of age” but I did decide to take Cassandra Neace’s advice about the liberal application of the term “growing older” and looked through the bookshelves for books which I felt that represented a character or characters developing a sense of maturity through the novel.
It was in last week’s list and it’s in this list again at the number five spot because it is one of the few novels that I own that happens to be a coming of age tale. It follows the life of Daniel who, as a child, is given his first taste of responsiblity when his father takes him to ‘The Cemetery of Forgotten Books’ and tells him that he must protect the book until he dies, never giving it away. The book follows him as he becomes obsessed with the book and its author through his teenage and adult years. It really is a thrilling novel, a book about books. There is a reason that I keep putting this book on the lists – because it is just so fantastic.
4. Prince of Mist – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
The second book of Carlos Ruiz Zafon to be included in this list. This book isn’t so much about “coming of age” as it is about watching a child grow to accept themselves in the world. The Prince of Mist follows Max Carter and his friends as the two delve into the past of their area and soon discover a dark secret about Max’s home and the ‘Prince of Mist’. If you liked Prince of Mist, you’ll be pleased to know that Zafon has another book under the same genre called ‘The Midnight Palace’ due out in June 2011 and you can pre-order it now on Amazon.
3. Confessions of a Fallen Angel – Ronan O’Brien
Confessions of a Fallen Angel is a novel that sees the narrator suffer a near-death experience as a child and, as a result, he can now foresee the deaths of others around him. The novel follows the narrator as he goes through his adult life suffering from this curse and attempting to save those he loves. It is a troubling and haunting novel that gripped me from beginning to end. As Ronan O’Brien’s début novel, it was a beautiful novel that will forever remain with me – a novel that reminds me of the futility and mortality of life.
2. The Meaning of Night – Michael Cox
Michael Cox is a writer that some people will struggle with and others will take pleasure in. The novel follows the life of Edward Glyver, a fictional scholar who sets out to plot revenge against his rival, Phoebus Daunt, who has haunted him throughout his life. It is a winding, twisting and turning novel that never fails to surprise the reader but those moments of greatness, the revenge plot, the mysteries and the murder are often overlooked as Cox attempts to make the novel appear as a biography with footnotes and comments on events and actions. Deserving of praise, it’s no surprise that this novel was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award.
1. Enduring Love – Ian McEwan
The novel is, as the title states, about endurance, the power of love. It is, at the same time, a novel about maturity, about possession, obsession and its dangers. Ian McEwan’s Enduring Love is a classic. It haunts us after we’ve finished reading it because it’s possible that we could all fall into the trap that the protagonist falls into. It’s not a coming of age story. It is a story about maturity, about how the fragility of love can easily shatter into a thousand pieces what we like to think of our mature period in life.
- Five Best Books…about growing older – IndieReaderHouston
- Top five books about growing older – TheLitWitch
- 5 Best Books…about growing older – Eclectic / Eccentric
- 5 Best Books…About Growing Older – Tonje Anita Solberg