In the High Peaks

Friday, August 25, 2017

August: Really in the Hum of Reading Again

My decision to shift course and focus on the books I haven't read by favorite authors has been a boon to my otherwise somewhat dismal reading year. Hurrah!

My rereading of Pride and Prejudice was completed yesterday, and I look forward to writing my thoughts about it over this weekend. Very much enjoyed!!

Anita Brookner's Misalliance was excellent, as I noted in one of my previous entries, and I look forward to reading more of her novels soon.

Elizabeth George's A Great Deliverance, introduced her considerable literary powers in her debut novel, which was to my mind, superb. Although in 1988, at the time of the book's publication, the grim subject matter had the power to shock and stun readers, I found that the way the ending unfolded still had the power to shake me up, even though I had guessed what had happened to the killer in her youth. Not simplistic by any means!! I encourage readers to go for this one.

I found the tension, chill, and balletic jetees (I am missing my accent marks) in the ups and downs of Lynley's and Barbara Havers's relationship to be extraordinarily well done. Barbara so shockingly reveals herself to Lynley at the end, and he, stunned, matter-of-factly and, dare I say it, compassionately accepts the force and bluntness of the presentation of her vulnerability, that the scenes are some of the strongest I've read in a number of years. True depths here.

And George creates the powerful scenes, filled with the sharpest dialogue and repartee, yet she also has an uncannily original ability to create and establish settings. Truly original. Can't wait to read her second published novel.

Jacqueline Winspear's Birds of a Feather, the second Maisie Dobbs mystery, was so psychologically astute, reflecting a deep understanding of familial relationships, not only in her client Joseph Waite's family, but touchingly, in Maisie's troubled relationship with her father, and her relationship with Billy Beale, her loyal and esteemed World War I veteran assistant.


  1. Some more for my authors to try list. I haven't read anything by Winspear but Birds of a Feather sounds right up my street. I'm glad you're having better reading experiences now.

    1. I think you would also enjoy the first book in the series, entitled Maisie Dobbs. Both were excellent.

  2. I'm a big Maisie Dobbs fan--just started book 12, and I think the series gets better and better as we march through time. I love how Maisie changes and grows, and her approach to her work is utterly fascinating. Always inspires me to meditate!

  3. Jane,
    I'm so glad to know that the series keeps getting better. I'll definitely read forward. Hopefully #3 by the end of the year. And yes, I do find the entire meditation aspect of her process to be fascinating.