The Mysteries of Udolpho: “On the pleasant banks of the Garrone, in the province of Gascony, stood, in the year 1584, the chateau of Monsieur St. Aubert.”
Finally, I have finished The Mysteries of Udolpho, the turtle coming in over the finish line of her own read-along. It was actually more like a last-minute buddy read but still everyone finished before me and I think a good number of you enjoyed the read.
I must say, Radcliffe surprised me. I had expected a novel infused with the overly dramatic, filled with unbelievable occurrences, overdrawn characters, and sentimentality galore. While there was a little of each within the novel, it was much less than I expected. Emily, the heroine, while she did faint on occasion, was actually quite strong and steadfast given her age and circumstances. I’m a little puzzled as to why she’s mocked so heavily in other reviews I’ve read.
Christmas Greetings ~ From A Fairy To A Child
Lady dear, if Fairies may
For a moment lay aside
Cunning tricks and elfish play,
‘Tis at happy Christmas-tide.
View of Ornans and Its Church Steeple (1858) Gustave Courbet ~ source Wikiart
2021 is almost upon us and already I have a couple of challenges planned, a read-along and a few buddy reads. I first saw on Fanda’s blog her posted reading schedule and thought, “what a great idea.” Then when Ruth asked if I write out my TBR for the year I wondered if someone “up there” was trying to tell me something. So even though lists are not my favourite things, a list it is. To keep me on track, of course!
The Seven Dials Mystery: “That amiable youth, Jimmy Thesiger, came racing down the big staircase at Chimneys two steps at a time.”
Detective: Superintendent Battle, Lady Eileen Brent (Bundle)
Published: January 24, 1929 (10th published book)
Length: 282 pages
Setting: Chimneys, London
My top ten winter books. Ah, well, how could I resist this topic? How could I pass up a chance to list all the books I want to read before the end of December and others as well? I can’t. So here I go ….
The 2021 Chapter-A-Day Read-Along is being hosted by Nick at One Catholic Life. It’s another one of his excellent yearly read-alongs and this time it’s a literal train of books. I was really excited when I heard about it, as it contains two books that I’ve been meaning to read and other old favourites. And a chapter per day …. what could be easier?
Where God Is, Love Is
Martin Avdéitch is an honest and hard-working shoemaker who lives in the basement of a building with only one window where he can gaze out on the street and see people’s feet passing by. Although his work keeps him busy with little time for socializing, he recognizes the people from seeing their boots as they pass. His wife, poor dear, is dead, as are his many children, however one little boy is still with him and while he thinks of sending him to live with relatives, he decides to keep him with him for company. Yet, alas, his son passes away from an illness and Martin is left all alone.
Christmas at Thompson Hall
Those of you who have read Anthony Trollope’s novels know that he is a master of the art of character creation. Each of the people who populate his novels have distinct personalities that bring them alive to the reader and draw them into his world. With a short story, however, I wondered if Trollope’s fine skills would hold up using a smaller palette. And so I began to read Christmas at Thompson Hall with a somewhat apprehensive curiosity.
Back to the Classics Challenge 2021 is hosted by Karen at Books and Chocolate and I’m so appreciative that she’s hosting it again this year. I wasn’t going to join ….. in fact, I wasn’t going to join any challenges this coming year. But I couldn’t resist. It will at least give me a list to focus on. And so, I’ll give it a go ….