The Eustace Diamonds by Anthony Trollope

Having finished my third epic-length Anthony Trollope novel (the third in the Palliser series), I’m beginning to think I’m not really a fan of Mr. Trollope’s writing style. His novels have wonderfully constructed and carefully developed plots. The characters are well rounded and personable; I feel I know them upon finishing a novel, and therefore it’s fun to see the recurring characters throughout the series. Nevertheless, the novels all seem to miss something spectacular that makes me want to jump up and pull the next one off the shelf.

The Eustace Diamonds (published serially in 1871) concerns different characters from the previous two books in the Palliser series, although Glencora Palliser does have a few cameos in London society (from the first two novels) and Mr and Mrs Grey (from Can You Forgive Her?) appear once. One needn’t have read the first two novels to enjoy this one, as there is no connecting storyline between the three novels.Continue Reading

The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar (Brief Thoughts)

At first, The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar reminded me of The Help. Obviously, given the very different settings, the book was very different as a whole from The Help. But I loved reading about the friendship and lives of two very different women. The book was beautifully written, and although the realistic issues it portrays are not happy ones, the ultimate message of positive self-worth was hopeful.Continue Reading

Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh (Brief Thoughts)

In 1955, a mother of five took a vacation to the beach. For two weeks, she had no husband or children seeking her, no hot water, no telephone, and no obligations, other than to reach inside for much needed rejuvenation as she wrote, searched for pretty shells, and pondered life. In Gift from the Sea, Anne Morrow Lindbergh examines some special shells and how their unique beauty relates to personal relationships, a modern woman’s distractions in the midst of an increasingly busy America, and the personal search for inner peace.Continue Reading

Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf (Brief Thoughts on a Reread)

Yesterday evening I returned home from my classics book club meeting very sad. We read Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf, and when I last read it, I remember wishing I could read and discuss with other classics readers. My classics reading group (last year, a total of four of us) agreed to give it a try this year.

Alas, the people in my group, different people from those who gave input on this years’ books, were nothing but scathing in their thoughts of Mrs Dalloway. It was too much work, there were no chapters, nothing happened, the characters were flat and boring (!). In short, they got nothing out of it.

I can relate to that feeling. I recently read The Red Badge of Courage and felt only joy when it ended because I was not enjoying it at all. But this was particularly hard since I so enjoyed my reread.

This post contains thematic spoilers for Mrs Dalloway.

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