Tuesday, February 2, 2016

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros: Mr. Mac and Me by Esther Freud

Happy Tuesday to you! I am participating in First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, hosted by Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea, where bloggers share a bit about a book they're reading or planning to read soon. 

I've been in the process of organizing my books and came across Mr. Mac and Me by Esther Freud (2014), a novel I found last year at a used book sale. 

From the back cover:

"Thomas Maggs, son of the local pub owner, lives with his parents and sister in a village on the Suffolk coast. Life is quiet--shaped by the seasons, fishing and farming, and the summer visitors--until a mysterious Scotsman arrives. He is the architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh, and he soon becomes a source of fascination and wonder to Thomas. "Mac" is what the locals call him when they whisper about him, and whisper they do, for he sets off on walks at unlikely hours and is seen on the beach staring out across the waves as if he's searching for clues.

Just as Mac and Thomas's friendship begins to blossom, war with Germany is declared. As the brutality of war weighs increasingly heavily on this coastal community, they become more suspicious of Mac and his curious ways. Esther Freud paints a vivid portrait of the home front during World War I, and of a man who was one of the most brilliant and misunderstood artists of his generation. "

The opening:

"I was born upstairs in the small bedroom, not in the smallest room with the outshot window, where I sleep now, or the main room that is kept for guests--summer visitors who write and let us know that they are coming and how long they plan to stay. Sometimes, after a night's drinking, folk may rest there, although Mother always takes their money off them first. If she doesn't they wake up and protest they don't know how they came to be lying in that fine wide bed, say they've been apprehended and held there, in comfort against their will. But that is at harvest times, when men and boys come to wash away the wheat chaff tickling their throats, or in high summer when they've spent the day thinning out the wild oats from hay. But I was born in winter, the sea storming on the beach beyond, roaring through the night, louder than my mother, whose ninth child I was."

What do you think? Would you keep reading?


  1. This is a book I've never heard of. Interesting. I'll look forward to hearing what you think about it.

  2. Hello Monica. Yes,I would really like to read this book. The cover is beautiful and specific to the art of Mackintosh and his wife and the opening sentence seems quite poetic. have you read my Anne Tyler choice? If so I would love to know what you thought of it.
    Miss Cellany on http://storiesinwood.blogspot.co.uk

  3. I'm fascinated by books set in this era. I'd definitely keep reading.
    My Tuesday post features GIRL IN HYACINTH BLUE.

  4. I remember wanting to read this when it first came out, but then forgot about it. The story sounds wonderful... can't wait to hear what you think!

  5. I like the "feel" of that first paragraph. I want to read more.

  6. I love the intro and know I read something by this author way back when. I'd keep reading.

  7. Definitely a keep reading book - I like the style of writing in that opening and I want to know more. Thanks for sharing.

  8. I really liked the intro, so I would keep reading.