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Showing posts from December, 2010

Books Read in December

Love's Shadow by Ada Leverson
Love's Shadow is like an Oscar Wilde play in the form of a novel.  It is a social comedy and 'full of froth and bubble', but Leverson has very sharp insights into people's behaviour.

Like most social comedies this book involves many love triangles.  Hardly anyone is really happy.  Edith Ottley is married to the rather volatile and unlikeable Bruce - they form 'the little Ottleys'.  Edith's life becomes much more interesting when she starts watching what her friend, the beautiful Hyacinth, does.  Hyacinth loves Cecil Reeves, but he is fascinated by the bohemian Eugenia.  Sir Charles adores Hyacinth, but he is stuck with his formidable wife. The only one who has some semblance of happiness is the strange Ann, who also adores Hyacinth, but is willing to be friends with her.

I didn't think that any of the characters were especially interesting, but the novel is so light and charmingly written and so Edwardian in a rather mod…

The Tsar's Ballerina

There is a new novel about Mathilde Kschessinska: The Memoirs of Little K. Her child certainly wasn't the Tsar's but I am interested in reading the novel which has had good reviews.

All things Alcott Challenge

I read Eight Cousins for the All Things Alcott Challenge but I didn't finish it.

When the book begins Rose, a pale orphan, lives with her old aunts who over-protect her and give her lots of pills for her health. She's living rather a dull life. Things change when Uncle Alec turns up to save the day! Uncle Alec throws the pills out, makes Rose have plenty of light and air, and gives her wise advice. He encourages her to make friends with her seven boy cousins. I did think that the Uncle was a bit too enlightened when he gave Rose a medicine containing hemp!

Rose and the other characters are all very engaging. The problem was that I found this book just too moralistic. Uncle Alec gives Rose lectures and advice all of the time. He stops her from wearing corsets and high heels, for example, and shows her their dangers. I didn't finish because I got a bit tired of all this.

However, I may prefer Rose in Bloom and I'm certainly going to give it a try!