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Saturday, July 05, 2008

Books Read in June

Pamela: In Her Own Right by Pamela Myer Warrender

Pamela was born into luxury and privilege at the tastefully furnished Heymount in Melbourne. In her younger days she modelled in Paris, mixed with the English aristocracy and worked for her family's famous department store, Myers. She married the son of an English lord.

Even though 'the rich are different', they also have their problems and Pamela's adult life was difficult. Her parents separated; the Myer childen had a fight against the fairness of their father's will; and her husband had problems with his businesses. She also suffered from a death in the family. It is interesting to see how resilient Pamela coped but the second half of the book is understandably miserable.

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
(Contains Spoilers)

Like all Russian classics this is full of themes and layers so it can be read again and again. The tragic story of the complicated Anna, who ruins her life by her adultery with a younger officer, is compared with her brother's and sister-in-law's marriages. Levin, who takes the 'middle path' is the true hero of this wonderful book.

Unfortunately, I always find the sections about Levin's life on the farm rather dull, but the lyricism of most of the book makes up for this.

The BBC series, starring Nicola Paget, is excellent and really brings the novel to life for me.

Tara's Fortune by Geraldine O'Neill

A romantic epic and an easy read. I found this quite soothing after struggling through Anna again. It tells the story of the elegant and charming Tara and her likeable friend Biddy's relationships with their husbands and families. The problem is that it is pretty long, and I got a bit tired of it at times.

However, I am going to look for the next book in the series.

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