Sunday, October 11, 2009

Location, location...

I have book issues at the moment. No, not with my current wip for a change, but with the book I'm reading, or at least attempting to read. What's the problem? Actually, I don't know if there is a problem. It's probably a very good book. I'm fairly confident I'm going to enjoy it, else I wouldn't have bought it in the first place. The thing is, so far I haven't got past the first line.

It's not that it's a bad opening line. In fact, it's not really the opening line at all. It's the date and location info before the opening line. This book, which is a Regency historical is set in Durham. I haven't read far enough to find out if that Durham is referring to the city of Durham, which is what I'd assume from the location being given as Durham, or whether we're talking about County Durham (County Palatine of Durham, if we're going to be correct for the era).

So, what's the issue here? Well, I suppose it's me, my expectations and past experiences.

While not an expert on County Durham, I did live there for ten years, and I have lots of childhood memories of the place, and the last Regency-set book I read by a US author that was set in County Durham made some horrendous mistakes. Hence, I'm bracing myself for more unintentional trips here. It's unfair of me, but I can't shake the expectation. I just wish that choice had been for another location, say Wessex or Somerset, or Kent. Somewhere that isn't the North-east of England, and is preferably nowhere too close to my current location.

I guess it's just harder to suspend belief when there are little nuances to bug you.

Does anyone else have this sort of location problem, or is it just me?

1 comment:

Sedonia Guillone said...

It's not just you. If I read a book set in the town where I live or a place I knew well, the mistakes would detract from my enjoyment of the book.