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Love in the cemetery.

Benny and Shrimp by Katarina Mazetti (2010-08-05) - Katarina Mazetti

This was a short book, just 224 pages, but it still managed to get into the heads of the two main characters. I found it quite amusing in parts but it also became somewhat frustrating and was let down by a ridiculous ending.

 

The chapters were narrated in turn by both Shrimp, a mousy widowed librarian, and Benny, a farmer, tied to the legacy of the farm that has become fossilised in time since the death of his mother. The two meet in the cemetery while visiting neighbouring graves and a flash of attraction sparks between them.

Each of these chapters begins with a snippet of irritating poetry, supposedly written by Shrimp.

 

Although they are immediately attracted to each other, they are also very different personalities, wanting very different things from life. Benny cannot leave the farm 

"If you take my John Deere away from me and put me in a suit, I shall feel like a transvestite." and Shrimp cannot imagine how she could possibly "sprout an apron overnight".

Loc 772: "He asked if I made my own bread, and I said I thought bread grew on trees, and you either picked it as little rolls or let it ripen into big fat loaves."

 

It was these anecdotes that enlivened the book for me, but the ending was a disappointment. Strangely, within our book group there were two different endings. Some people finished with the metaphorical purchase of a pair of strappy, blue leather shoes, others had another chapter involving a meeting between Shrimp and Benny, with a rather ridiculous outcome. (I'll say no more).

 

This would make for an entertaining beach read.