October, November & December 2018 Wrap-Up Part I

It’s time to recap what I read during the last part of 2018, but I’m breaking up the post in two parts so it doesn’t get too long.

Writers as Readers A Celebration of Virago Modern Classics: I didn’t finish this book and I don’t intend to rush through it. It’s an enjoyable book filled with essays by writers about writers. I enjoyed the essays on Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte, of course. I look forward to enjoying this book over the coming winter months.

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Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear: This is the first in a series of novels featuring Maisie Dobbs, a London-based detective. Because this is the first book in the series, we are taken back via flashbacks to the early life of Maisie, which includes her time as a nurse during World War I.

I love London and the descriptions of old London in this book are just wonderful. I could picture the grand townhouses in Belgravia and Fitzroy Square. The scenes set during and after World War I felt real and raw. I actually got a little bit depressed reading the hospital scenes set in the trenches. All the details were so vivid that I could picture the blood-soaked dresses the exhausted nurses wore. The tragic love story within the flashbacks broke my heart and had me sobbing. I didn’t plan it, but reading this book during the anniversary of Armistice seemed fitting.

Mary Stewart’s Thornyhold: Wow, this book was incredibly romantic, light and airy with a touch of witchery.  Our heroine, Gilly, inherits a house that may be magical. The writing was so vivid that I could picture Gilly’s house in the forest. Mary Stewart is so talented. She made me cry, she made me hate the villain, and then she made me see the villain as a comedic character through Gilly’s eyes. And the Happy Ever After is incredibly satisfying. I don’t want to give anything away, but if you love romance and happily ever afters then this book is for you. I don’t think I normally enjoy novels in the first person, but I enjoyed this one very much. 

Julian Fellow’s Belgravia: This book was a saga of a story that revolves around two families. Like all good stories, this story begins at the Duchess of Richmond’s Ball. We are then transported to the Battle of Waterloo and then to the 1840s where we experience the planning and construction of Belgravia. (I want to live there!) Belgravia, and the townhouses set in Belgravia, is very much a main character in this story, which I enjoyed very much. 

To be continued…

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