Books that resonate more second time round

(12 Posts)
OutwiththeOutCrowd Sun 09-Oct-16 12:23:26

Like many before him, my DS has been reading Lord of the Flies as a set text in English. This has prompted me to reread the book. The first time I read it, decades ago, I found it mildly interesting but can’t say it had a particular impact on me. I couldn’t imagine boys descending into savagery quite so quickly and easily. However, picking the book up for a second time, I find myself profoundly moved by it.

The difference is, I suppose, that I have now lived through my DS’s primary school years with him and, while he didn’t experience murders or conflagrations in the playground, the whole scenario depicted in Lord of the Flies, the tribalism and casual cruelty towards those who won’t – or can’t – conform, does seem so much more real now.

So life experience has given me a deeper appreciation of the book. And I wanted to ask if anyone has had a similar experience with a book. Have you ever found a book meaning more to you – or even just feeling different to you in some way - on returning to it later in life?

Also interested to hear about books that resonate less second time round!

bumpetybumpbumpbump Sun 09-Oct-16 17:22:19

Anything ! At school literature seems so boring. I have a new love for Shakespeare -othello, Macbeth, taming of the shrew.
Also the handmaids tale and the crucible.

highlandcoo Sun 09-Oct-16 23:24:58

Interesting question OP.

I recently reread Brother of the More Famous Jack by Barbara Trapido, a book I had fond memories of from about thirty years ago, and was really looking forward to revisiting.

The first time I read it I loved the Goldman family, and remember finding them smart, eccentric and charming. This time they seemed rather annoying and pleased with themselves, and the whole appeal of the book was lost for me. Very disappointing!

ImperialBlether Sun 16-Oct-16 13:54:49

Yes, I found that, highlandcoo! I loved that book when I was about 20 but now I could have slapped every one of them!

pepperpot99 Sun 16-Oct-16 14:03:56

Every time I read The Grapes of Wrath is means more and more. It's a true Great Novel in every sense of the term. I first read it as a student and more recently as a parent I can relate to Ma Joad and Rose of Sharon's sacrifice in a way that I couldn't before I became a mother.

The Lovely Bones really deepened my understanding of loss, grief and acceptance, and of it being possible to salvage something meaningful and beautiful from the depths of horror, more so the second reading.

When I first read Catcher in the Rye I was an angsty 15 year old and identified with Holden's alienation and anger; upon rereading it a couple of years back I realised he was a lost, abandoned and neglected child who needed kindness and would do anything to avoid being on his own. I felt like mothering him sad

I think a true great will bear up to being read and reread many times.

ImperialBlether Sun 16-Oct-16 14:39:17

I'm going to re-read The Grapes of Wrath, now! I absolutely loved it when I read it years ago. The ending is one I'll never forget.

pepperpot99 Sun 16-Oct-16 16:28:30

Indeed Imperial; the ending is completely staggering.

ImperialBlether Sun 16-Oct-16 16:32:03

It's funny that we look at great opening lines but not at great endings.

The Great Gatsby - really disliked it the first time I read it and found much more in it on second reading.

Lord of the Flies is one of the best books ever written. grin

OutwiththeOutCrowd Sun 16-Oct-16 17:02:18

I didn't notice that Cold Comfort Farm was actually funny when I tried to read it as a girl but many years later I realised my mistake! blush

pepperpot99 Sun 16-Oct-16 17:39:00

Agree again Imperialblether. I can just snout remember the last line of To Kill a Mockingbird when Scout describes Atticus' vigil by Jem's bedside
"He was there when he went to sleep and would be there when he waked up". Beautiful. And I always wordered if 'waked' as the correct verb conjugation. No matter because it's just right smile

ImperialBlether Sun 16-Oct-16 17:47:45

Did anyone read Fear of Flying back in the day? She ended the book mid-scene - I loved that. Also Looking for Mr Goodbar ended it mid-thought and it was very moving.

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