Monday, 29 March 2010

The Woodlanders by Thomas Hardy; my copy published by Macmillan, 1974

I first read this book and others by Hardy on working visits to Siguenza, Spain in the time of Franco.
The coolness and shade of the Dorset countryside: its woods, shady paths and umbriferous hedgerows were havens on the brightly hot and dry afternoons of a Spanish summer. Re-reading recently, in winter after many years, was entirely different.
I was surprised how handy woodland is for an author. In a wood you can come across any character the author wishes you to meet because people stroll out for pleasure. In the evening especially but not only. They must also walk to travel about the local area. In the woods they also overhear each other!! Things they are not supposed to overhear. They also come upon unlikely pairs of each other and so take a different path to be discreet.

The morals of the times

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Lost Child by Julie Myerson (2009)

From an e-mail sent by Pippa Hall - with permission

"I have just finished a Julie Myerson book
called Lost Child that I am fuming about as she irritated me all the way
through. It's about her son who gets hooked on
dope, quits school and does all the things that don't feel right to them and
their world - and it runs alongside the research she is doing on a Suffolk
family who lost 5 of their 8 children to consumption......... Incidentally,
I didn't choose this book - it was a Valentine's Day present from ....."

Anthropomorphic Valentine, circa 1950-1960Image via Wikipedia

Click to see a 2009 Review in the Telegraph about this book