When you order something from us, the website will add a 'standard' postage and packing charge of £3.95.
We can't make a more detailed estimate because that would entail us weighing every single book and logging the weight online.
If however you order something lightweight such as a book voucher, we will NOT charge you this amount.
Each payment is firstly authorised by you, the customer, and subsequently 'captured' by me. I am able to take LESS than you authorised, but never more! So I will simply reduce the postage charge to an envelope and post.
Most of our packages need to be shipped as 'small parcel' via the Royal Mail as they are too big to be registered as a letter. This usually means they cost approximately £3.10 for packages up to 2kg. I don't send them 'signed for' as a rule but I can do this if you prefer, just email us and let us know. It's an extra £1 to do this via Royal Mail.
If you have a large quantity of books or other items, we may have to come back to you for more postage once the parcel has been prepared, but I will always let you know.
For Christmas and Birthdays, we can offer an additional gift wrapping service at £1 per book.
Racism. Black Lives Matter. Coronavirus! All subjects and words that have appeared far too much in our 2020 lexicon, and all subjects that are complicated, emotive and divisive. The discussions we had branched way beyond the book and into a spectrum of topics, which indicate how complex ( and yet interesting) this subject is.
Without actually being a black person who has suffered first hand racist commentary, it is almost impossible to speak with authority on the subject, indeed each and every black person no doubt has their own nuanced opinion and standpoint. All we can do, is try to understand, to mentally put ourselves in other shoes for a time and see the world from another perspective. In many ways, that is the gift that books like this can give us.
Pecola’s shoes were hard to be in. For some, too much altogether, and indeed early criticism of the book was that it was too heavy handed, too “melodramatically brutal and overly symbolic” There is no arc of progress, no redemption or hope at the end. Toni Morrison does not try to make the story more palatable, if anything she tries to cast no blame on individuals but lets their opinions and (sometimes unforgiveable) actions seem like the natural outcome of an individual’s circumstances. More victim than resilient survivor. It is worth noting that the civil rights injustices and protests were ongoing in the US throughout the 60’s - and Morrison wrote this from 1965 -70. No wonder the raw bitterness is still there.
Where the story falls particularly hard, though, is on Pecola – who as a vulnerable and unloved child, has no self worth to fall back on, no resilience to see her through. Claudia, our narrator, is a feisty and strong child, which contrasts all the more with Pecola. Neither mother is particularly loving, but we do see that Claudia’s mother cares, in less obvious ways. The central theme of the book is therefore not that Pecola, or any other child, particularly wants to be white – or have blue eyes- but it’s all about the perception of beauty, and the sense of self-worth.
Setting the subject matter aside, all readers were impressed with Morrison’s spectacular writing. At times even with humour, the prose is so densely and skilfully crafted that it is hard to believe it was her debut novel. Some of the structural parts, such as the chapters by season, and the ‘Dick and Jane’ chapter headings, didn’t work quite as well for some, but overall it is hard to doubt her skill. Even incidental characters such as the prostitutes, add colour, character and texture to the narrative.
As a side note, Toni Morrison has written approximately another eight novels, as well as plays and copious speeches and essays. This work is probably one of the most accessible, so fair warning to those looking to find some more of her brilliant prose!
“People don’t get their morality from their reading matter, they bring their morality to it” ( Clive James, who died the week we reviewed this!)
Keane’s skill is absolutely this, he is not our moraliser, he simply brings the facts to our attention and lays them out to demonstrate his points.