One of my favourite things is savouring the last 50 pages of a book for a time and place I can really drink them in, with room to wallow in the story's end. I always feel a sense of loss at the end of a good book, simultaneously hollow and elated.
This morning, I took The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry to my favourite Starbucks, snagged my favourite table by the window, put Hayden on my iPod and settled in for the last 50 pages. I know the title of this book makes it sound like some dodgy Dan Brown bull. But it's a million miles from that. The language is luminous and I'm wholeheartedly in love with the heroine Roseanne Clear. This article from the Guardian is worth reading too.
It's only April, and I'm positive this will be one of the best books I read this year. I'm devastated and happy and want to shove a copy of it into everybody's hands and tell them they absolutely must read it.
PS - Barry's other novel A Long Long Way is also a favourite and worth reading if you haven't already.