First Impression Friday will be a meme where you talk about a book that you JUST STARTED! Maybe you’re only a chapter or two in, maybe a little farther. Based on this sampling of your current read, give a few impressions and predict what you’ll think by the end.

When John Dowell and his wife befriend Edward and Leonora Ashburnham they appear to be the perfect couple. He is a distinguished solider and she is beautiful and intelligent. However, what lies beneath the surface of their marriage is far more sinister and their influence leads John into a tragic drama that threatens to destroy everything he cares about.

I spent September immersing in mostly newer books, i.e. books published in 2019 and 2020. Although I am a backlist type of reader, I enjoyed reading these books. I had so much fun that I finished 10 books last month, the most I had in a month this year. I was on a roll the past seven days as I read about four books. HAHA. I just might be headed for a record breaking reading year.

Before I end up branching out to other topics, let’s head back to the purpose of this First Impression Friday post. From newer books, I am jumping back to my backlist, starting with Ford Maddox Ford’s The Good Soldier. It was first published in 1915 as The Saddest Story. And yes, I just realized now that it has a sub-title of “A Tale of Passion.” It reminds me of A.S. Byatt’s Possession: A Romance Novel.

I just started reading the novel so I don’t have much to say yet. The story is narrated on the first person point of view, that of John Dowell. It involves two couples – the Dowells and the Ashburnhams. With different backgrounds, one couple was American whilst the other was British, one wouldn’t expect that their paths would converge. But it did and the result was this narrative which Ford Maddox Ford himself declared as the best of his works.

From what I have read so far, I am getting the notion that there is something promiscuous happening, or at least one of the characters is. I can also sense some undertones of tension. The earlier chapters are mostly about profiling the primary characters. Ashburnham’s wife, Leonora, seem to play a seminal role in the story.

I can sense that the story somehow revolves around love and with what was laid out so far by Dowell, I already have an inkling as to how the individual stories of the couples entangled. It is not an easy read as well. While the language was easy to follow, the unreliability of the narrator makes me slow down deliberately. I can sense that the story is to be consumed in bits and pieces, not in huge chunks.

The Good Solder is listed as one of the 1,001 Books You Must Read Before You Die. It is one of the reasons why I wanted to read the book. I am hoping that it would live up to the hype. From the reviews I’ve read, the story can be likened to a maze. And I can understand why. I do hope I find my way out in the end.

How about you fellow reader, what book are you going to read this weekend? I hope it is a book that you’ve been looking forward to and I hope you enjoy it. Keep safe, and happy weekend!