The seemingly endless wait for a favourite author’s next book is a feeling familiar to all book lovers. My heart certainly goes out right now to all the Game of Thrones fans I‘ve encountered who are increasingly desperate for George R R to release the next instalment – it’s a frustration I know all too well. The sense of expectation is, I think, also tinged with a certain amount of trepidation when there’s been a very long gap between novels, especially when you’ve absolutely loved the author’s previous work. Will it live up to all our hopes? The last book that generated that sense of almost unbearable anticipation for me was Donna Tartt’s “The Goldfinch”. I adored “The Secret History”; “The Little Friend”, although I will never love it as much as her first book, was definitely not a disappointment. Would “The Goldfinch” be as good again? Sadly I didn’t think so; although there were strands of the storyline that gripped me completely there were other fairly lengthy episodes that didn’t. And yes, I was a bit disappointed, because although I enjoyed it to an extent I just couldn’t love it as much as I desperately wanted to. But I guess that’s the way it goes with anything in life for which you have to wait, and for every disappointment there will be plenty of blissful moments when you feel that your patience has been well and truly rewarded.
So what’s the next book I’m waiting for? It’s Vikram Seth’s “A Suitable Girl”, a book whose publication date I have been obsessively checking FOR YEARS. Last time I looked (this afternoon!) it was still sometime in 2016; but you can be sure that whenever it finally hits the shelves I will be clearing my diary to make time for this special event. I look forward to the rush of having that new book by a favourite author in my hands, brand new, unopened and ready to be devoured – because it’s a feeling like no other.