In the High Peaks

Monday, May 22, 2017

May Jaunts and Carol Goodman's The Widow's House

Just a very brief post to say I'm still hanging in, despite the fact I haven't been reading a great deal or blogging as much as I'd very much like to do.

My plan is to have a very busy summer reading and blogging.  I've been really bogged down emotionally and it has been very hard to keep up. I don't understand really why this should be, but it must be part of the grieving process, and I hope that after my mom's memorial service, I'll truly begin anew. I guess I can say quite honestly that I can't wait.

I just had a wonderful visit from a friend who now lives in North Carolina. We hiked over 22 miles in four days, and lots of it on rough trails. I'll admit I'm exhausted, but it's a really good kind of tiredness. Beautiful, really cool spring weather, which means that the black flies were not a problem. Lucky us!

I am reading a gothic-style thriller set in upstate New York in the Hudson River Valley. Carol Goodman's The Widow's House has all the traits of gothic suspense, which makes it excellent fodder for my appetites. A married couple, in their mid-30s, moves to a gate-house kind of place on a Hudson River Valley estate. Jess, the husband, is working on his second novel and getting nowhere, really.  His wife, although she has considerable literary talents of her own, has always subsumed them in working to support her husband, doing editorial freelancing for New York City publishers. Then, just a bit at a time, she begins to boldly stretch her literary wings on this estate, no longer playing the self-abnegating helpmate to her husband. That's where I am right now. It is becoming clear that Jess cares only for the support his wife can provide, in the form of meals  and general  household support and literary cheerleader.. Naturally, there is a ghostly presence on the estate--just as one might expect. I'm  really enjoying it.  Carol Goodman  has written a number of gothicky novels set in upstate New York.  I read The Lake of the Dead Languages, which was set at a women's secondary school--private academy, and which was excellent.


  1. I'm so glad you've been having a good time hiking with your friend, walking in beautiful surroundings is such a good way of healing yourself when you're grieving.

    1. Katrina,
      You're so right! Her visit was a wonderful diversion from the preparations for the memorial service and family reunion in early June.
      It is so true that walking in nature is very healing. (And I will say that yacking away with a friend makes the miles fly by.)

  2. 22 miles in 4 days sounds like a good way to process your grief. My best wishes as you work through your loss.

    The Widow's House is on my TBR list for sometime this year--I love the Hudson River Valley as a setting, and gothic mystery is a good genre for me.

    1. Jane,
      Thank you for your kind thoughts. I do appreciate!
      I'll update with my thoughts about The Widow's House. As we are now counting down to exactly two weeks to our family reunion and Mom's memorial service, I may not have my ultimatum on the book available soon, though I hope so. I do take restful reading breaks--they're great.
      Best wishes to you!

  3. Nature is very important in the grieving process. So glad that you are surrounded by beautiful scenery in which to immerse yourself.