The Return of the Native: “A Saturday afternoon in November was approaching the time of twilight, and the vast tract of unenclosed wild known as Egdon Heath embrowned itself moment by moment.”
Oh my, I was laughing after finishing this novel, which perhaps wasn’t the reaction that Hardy had envisioned. But the drama! The high drama! I was beginning to wonder what other circumstance of fate (which actually didn’t seem like fate but a deliberate thwarting of anyone’s happiness) was going to occur to cause yet another catastrophe. It was a medley of characters making the same mistakes over and over again and never learning one thing from them.
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd: “Mrs. Ferrars died on the night of the 16th-17th September — a Thursday.”
Detective: Hercule Poirot
Published: June 1926
Length: 224 pages
Setting: the village of King’s Abbot (fictional)
After The Secret of Chimneys, Christie returned with another Hercule Poirot mystery (#3) and, ah yes, she certainly outdid herself with this novel, even improving over her masterful mystery plotting in The Mysterious Affair at Styles. Our intrepid sleuth Hercule Poirot returns, but as a retired detective living in the village of King’s Abbot, unobtrusively growing vegetable marrows of which he is having a minimal success. Dr. Sheppard and his sister Caroline live in the neighbouring house to Poirot: Caroline the village busybody, yet with a surprisingly sharp yet empathetic intellect, and the good doctor, a steadying personality and the voice of reason.
As we reach the end of our The Four Loves Read-along, we have so far investigated Affection, Friendship and Romantic Love (the natural loves) but none of these loves are sufficient in and of themselves without another Love to support the feelings and keep them sweet. Lewis now investigates Charity, or Agape (ἀγάπη).
I was hoping to get my last C.S. Lewis post up from the June (ahem!) Read-Along first but August is swiftly drawing to a close so I’m going to post this now. I know you all wait with baited breath for my monthly posts (LOL!), so here it is. And bear in mind, I’m writing like it’s July 31st; August news will wait until my next post!
The Man in the Queue: “It was between seven and eight o’clock on a March evening and all over London the bars were being drawn back from pit and gallery doors.”
Ah, finally I managed to find some time to read a Josephine Tey novel!! I’ve been seeing so many reviews of her novels on other book blogs and hearing so many good things about her writing that I was keen to experience it myself. Initially, I’d planned to start with her lauded Daughter of Time but instead decided to begin with her first novel, The Man in the Queue.
And here we go with our The Four Loves read-along! Here is the first post. I hope my notes help clarify the start of the book and please feel free to add any comments below. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I found the beginning quite dense and Lewis sometimes a wee bit difficult to follow. I think it will get easier, however, as he begins to examine each type of love.
I’m going to attach some questions to each chapter. You can use these to answer them as a post on your blog, or simply mull them over to understand the reading better. I do hope they help!
“Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita mi ritrovai per una selva oscura, ché la diritta via era smarrita.” (Midway in life’s journey I strayed from the path and became lost in a dark wood.)
And so begins Dante Alighieri’s 14th century magnum opus, The Divine Comedy, which includes the books Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso, telling of his travels through the depths of Hell and the mountain of Purgatory to discover the bliss of the Heavenly realms.
I attempted to review Inferno after my second read of it, yet never was able to put my thoughts together. This time I was determined but without much more inspiration, however I believe I discovered why this poem is so difficult to review. In essence, it is not only a poem; it is a story, it is history; it’s a science; it is a theological treatise, it is a creation. As in the other two books, there are so many allusions and so many connections that Dante interweaves into them that, as modern readers, we become a little lost in a dark wood. It’s like looking at a puzzle and having to see all the pieces individually before you can see the whole. Without a knowledge of Italian, we can struggle; without a knowledge of medieval scientific theory, we can struggle, without a knowledge of Catholicism we can struggle. But in spite of some of these challenges in this magnificent work, we can still see some of the pictures that Dante painted for us with bold strokes of artistic creativity.
“Whan that April with his shoures soote The droughte of March hath perced to the roote, And bathed every veyne in swich licour Of which vertu engendred is the flour;….”
Twenty-nine pilgrims and the narrator meet in Southwark, in Harry Bailey’s Tabard Inn, before setting off on a pilgrimage to Canterbury, where they will behold Thomas Becket’s shrine. On the journey each pilgrim will tell four tales, two on the way there and two on the way back. A free dinner will be awarded to the one with the best story. And so begins Geoffrey Chaucer’s famous poem, a medley of lively stories that gives the reader a captivating window into 14th century England.
The Gateway at Canterbury (1889)
Which means that I get to read A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland and A Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides written in 1775 by Samuel Johnson and James Boswell. I never thought I’d draw this one from my list, but I’m quite happy with it.
That said, I’m going to check around other blogs and see if anyone has drawn another book from my list. Then I might add it and we could read along together. If I find anything I’ll edit this post with the details but in the meantime, enjoy your spin reading everyone!
April usually brings lots of showers in my part of the country but let’s hope this year the flowers appear early. It’s been a pretty exciting March and also heading into April. The keyword is “renovations” and there are many of them. As you know from my January, February and March update, my new kitchen is under construction and is progressing nicely thanks to the dedicated direction of my colleague. I’ve been Insulating and drywalling up a storm (well, actually only one wall) and I laid the floor myself. Otherwise, I’ve had an excellent cabinet installer help with the cabinets and today my new Wolf range went in. Still to go are countertops and tile, along with various other little tasks. I’ll be so glad to finally get my kitchen back. I’ve been living in a house that looks like it’s been hit by a hurricane and so many times I’ve wanted to leave for cleaner pastures, but soon I’ll be able to put everything back in order. I can’t wait!