Sorry! I’m a bit behind today on my posting. It’s been one of those weeks. However, I have read some good books this week, starting with:
— The Exile of Sara Stevenson, Darci Hannah.
I’ll be honest. This wasn’t what I expected at all. But what it turned out to be was even better. I met the author last year at a conference, where we bonded over our love of things Scottish. When she told me she had written a Scottish-set Napoleonic historical novel, my mental image was… well, Almack’s with a Scottish accent. Instead, Hannah conjures up the culture of lowland Scotland in a way that’s absolutely flawless. It’s not a world of lairds and plaids, but of hardworking Calvinist bourgeois– the sort of people who have no idea what to do with a high-spirited daughter. There’s also a paranormal twist to it, but I’m not telling what it is, since it will give too much away. Oh, and Sir Walter Scott puts in a guest appearance!
— Chapel Noir, Carole Nelson Douglas
A dark, fascinating fin de siecle thriller by the author of Good Night, Mr Holmes. For those who haven’t encountered the Irene Adler books before, I suggest starting with Good Night, Mr. Holmes (although I believe it has also been reprinted under another name– I hate it when that happens). The narrator, Nell, is very much a first cousin to Elizabeth Peters’ Amelia Peabody.
— Possession, A.S. Byatt
I went through a huge A.S. Byatt kick in college, but it’s been years since I had re-read Possession. As with many books that you loved once, I went into it skeptical, convinced it wouldn’t hold up to my memory. But, yes, it is still that good. Although it’s having a weird effect on my prose, which is starting to want to come out as heavily allegorical Victorian verse.
What have you been reading?