Currently, I am reading, “A Tale of Two Cities”, by Charles Dickens. Being half way through the novel I am impressed with the history I have found throughout the book. It is a learning experience and an interesting time period. I always find Dickens hard to read – especially at the beginning. I find myself re-reading constantly. As always, towards the middle the reading seems to smooth out. The read is part of my Classics Club reading list – lucky spin number five.
All Roads Lead To Austen, by Amy Elizabeth Smith
Of the three books I finished reading for Austen in August, I enjoyed “All Roads Lead to Austen” the best.
The author travels to Guatemala, Mexico, Ecuador, Chile, Paraguay and Argentina staging reading groups in each country
to find Jane Austen and novels are very much universal. I looked forward to each country she visited. I found the authors
writing a new and exciting
approach to the works of Jane Austen. I would love to travel as she did and share reading with other countries. I feel it would be
the best learning experience one could have. There are many surprises in this book and it a gift as one completes the book.
What Matters in Jane Austen? by, John Mullen
This book goes deeper into the themes of Austen’s works with twenty questions asked and answered by the author.
The questions come from details often overlooked (in my opinion) and are answered through the authors extensive knowledge of Jane Austen and her works.
novels and letters.
In chapter seven, the question is asked, “Why is the weather important?” I found this very interesting and a subject I hadn’t
considered before reading this book. The author writes, “the weather in Austen has to be minutely observed because
each Austen novel follows a tightly defined chronology.”
He also writes, the weather shapes events as in “Sense and Sensibility,” Marianne has injured her foot and is rescued by Willoughby
She first deludes herself of the coming rain and she also deludes herself about the character of Willoughby.
The reader comes away with a deeper understanding of Jane Austen’s writing and why such details are a necessary throughout her novels.
Jane Austen: A Life Revealed by, Catherine Reef
Written with the facts of Jane Austen’s beginning life through her death it is a book full
of information. The chapters “Uprooted” and “An Extraordinary Fate” are my favorite. I
could feel her sadness as she describes one of many moves while at this period in her life.
“two very nice rooms, with dirty quilts and everything comfortable,” Jane said. She must have
wrote while in Bath using her experiences for future novels. Jane father’s death caused enormous financial
burden for the women left. The three women moved several times always seeking a less expensive place to live. During this time of constantly being uprooted, Sense and Sensibility was published.
From Adam at, Roof Beam Reader & The Classics Club, an annual event,Austen In August, will be taking place. During the month of August the assignment is to read books written by Jane Austen which can include biographies.
All Roads Lead To Austen by Amy Elizabeth Smith
What Matters In Jane Austen by John Mullen
The Real Jane Austen : A Life in Small Things by Paula Byrne
Jane Austen : A Life Revealed by Catherine Reef
I plan to start my reads now as not to fall behind. I encourage others to take part, Austen lover or not.
Wives and Daughters by, Elizabeth Gaskell
This is a novel I found myself missing after finishing. It is Elizabeth Gaskell’s unfinished and last book.
The reader goes through Molly Gibson’s life from early childhood to the tender time of young womanhood.
The setting takes place in Hollingford, an English provincial town in the 1830’s.
Molly Gibson, the heroine is motherless and lives with her father the town’s doctor. We first meet her as a child, fallen fast asleep while attending a yearly function at the Towers, the home of Lord and Lady Cumor.
Molly is older now and is helping the Hamley family whom she is staying with when she finds out her father is to be remarried to Mrs. Kirkpatrick, a constant character who is grateful for the coming marriage to escape her present circumstances. Molly is also provided with a new sister, Cynthia whom she adores.
The character of Molly is a rescuer, a care taker and throughout the story feels it is her responsibility to devote herself to others.
Roger and Osborne will become two more individuals who Molly is devoted to.
Throughout the novel and as Molly matures in a mental sense she learns not to sacrifice herself. She comes to understand she can keep a balance and still remain endeared to others.
The year of 2013 passed quickly by and I found myself falling further and further behind with what I would have liked to accomplish concerning reading. I intend to pick up where I had left off …
The 2014 Woman Challenge can be started at anytime. Everyone is welcome.
Currently I am reading, The Sea, the Sea by Iris Murdoch and adding a bio by Victoria Glendenning on Elizabeth Bowen.
2014 Woman Challenge
– Iris Murdoch, The Sea, The Sea & The Sovereignty of Good
– Nancy Mitford, Love In A Cold Climate & Wigs On The Green
– Elizabeth Bowen, The Little Girls & Eva Trout or Changing Seasons
A Christmas Carol by, Charles Dickens
The ghost of ~Christmas Past~ is one of my favorite characters in this grand story of repentance.
This ghost is the first of three spirits to visit Scrooge to remind him of what he has been missing through the years.
The ghost of ~Christmas Past~ takes Scrooge to the very road leading to his boyhood home.
Scrooge is reminded of all the wonderful people, places,and things that brought him such happiness in those very moments.
Scrooge gets to revisit his dead sister, Fan who collects him from boarding school for the Christmas holidays, and a few moments later their is Fezziwig making way for a Christmas party – later Scrooge can see the love of his life, Belle.
The powers of this ghost allow Scrooge to ~smell~ the past and for a few short precious moments he can see the past –
… every gate and post, and tree – until a little market town appeared in the distance, with its bridge, its church and winding river …
Being my first Elizabeth Bowen read I have nothing to compare it with. I would like to read more of the author’s work before taking a critical stand. Some of my notes were as follows:
… the novel is becoming a bit bizarre and rather hard to understand – chapter 12
… the novel is once again flowing and I am less confused – part 2, chapter 1
… in this novel dysfunction runs rampant. The characters, almost all the characters do not take responsibility for their actions. It seems throughout the story it becomes easier to blame Eva.
…the last chapter is seventy-five pages long – the novel seems strangely put together and I wonder if it is on purpose? Sometimes the book seems written out of order. Ups and downs, unexpected turns and twists appear in the wrong places.
The story is of Eva Trout finding her way to some sense of order in her ever crumbling life. Order and affection would be enough as sadly she gave up on love a long time ago. Through the chapters I felt she had to climb over the characters for a brief moment of fresh air – always distancing herself from her small circle of incapable care givers.
‘Eric kisses Eva’ – I had suspected something was going on there. I wanted to give Eric the benefit of the doubt. This awful man, Eric, tells Eva, ‘You are mine’. Eva states she was never anyone’s with a reply – ‘You were your father’s’. And Eva says, ‘no, only Constantine’s’ which I also found strange.
♥ favorite quote – Izzy thinking aloud
‘I am soiled by living more than a thousand lives, I have lived through books. I have lived internally.’
In conclusion it would appear I am rather critical of this novel. I would rather read more of the author’s work and who she was as I am very intrigued. I also came across a biography by Victoria Glendinning about the Elizabeth Bowen’s life.
Woman Reading Challenge