February 2016….More Reading


The last book started and finished in our old home was ‘The Killing’ by David Hewson…..so-called Scandi-Noir, and one of the best Crime stories I have read in a long, long time. Politics, crime and the usual personal life of the chief detective all come into play, all utterly bimages-1.jpegelievable, and a range of suspects keep you hooked until the very end. Highly recommended. I moved from that onto ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ which most of us will have Unknown-1.jpegseen on TV with Gregory Peck. I had a lovely Folio edition so it was pure joy to hold and read. I was quite surprised that the action in court was only a small part of the plot (the movie being based around that). However, the way in which we became involved with all three members of the Finch family as well as assorted in-laws etc was masterly. As was the portrayal of just what it meant to be poor in the deep South (whether White or Black). In fact that is what I take away from this great novel more than anything…astonishing. I have to say that for one of the greats I did think the ending was highly anti-climatic, but then that applies to 95% of novels, does it not?

Over the course of the last few weeks I have also been reading Nigel Slater’s ‘Kitchen Diaries II’ Once started impossible to put down, a very readable cookery book indeed. Unknown-3.jpegAnd all the recipes we have tried have been absolutely wonderful (and economic). Reading it is like being with Nigel at home for a while. Interesting, soothing, pleasurable….
Daphne Du Maurier’s ‘Castle Dor’ was started in Binley Woods and finished in our new house in Cornwall – very appropriate really as the book is set in and around the Fowey estuary, and we are now living very nearby. Well we will be ‘living’ when we get on top of a few more boxes. About 220 boxes and most of them full of books. Still it’s a real joy to put them out, and remember them. The delivery men asked if I had read them all, and I did say yes (a bit of a porky, but I must have read 90% of the collection). So, ‘Castle Dor’. An unusual novel as it was started by the famous ‘Q’ (Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch), and his daughter asked Daphne to finish it when he died half way through the writing. You can just about see the join. One ofUnknown-4.jpeg those books which was quite hard to get into but in this case only for the first half dozen or so pages, it tells the story of Tristan and Isolde but transplanted to South-East Cornwall of the nineteenth century….a chance encounter between a Breton onion seller, Amyot Trestane, and the recently married wife of a publican Linnet Lewarne, leads to fated love. It intertwines present day with past legends and is well told and sustaining throughout. Not untypical of any of Du Maurier’s novels. For a description of the ‘real’ Castle Dor Iron Age site see…..the Access To Monuments site…

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