August Is A Wicked Month….and more

side-11.jpgIt certainly is, in Edna O’Brien’s hands! I wondered whether this might just be too dated but I found O’Brien’s powerful writing was for the ages. I remember reading a few Edna O’Brien’s in the Sixties. This novel is redolent of that time. Although London is supposed to be swinging, for many it was a placeof loneliness and frustration. The ‘heroine’ has a complicated personal life but seeks solace in the Med…it was ever thus! Things happen, good and bad, and then there comes tremendous, overpowering guilt (an Irish writer, so inevitable?). Not only is this a story you want to get into but the writing is terrific…she’s really good on location character, plot and sex, and there aren’t many writers you can say that about. Really enjoyed it ad must see if I have any more O’Briens.


These little Alison Hodge books about all aspects of Cornwall and Cornish life are generally excellent and this one ‘Exploring The Camel Estuary’ is no exception. Written by experts – in this case a naturalist and a bird sanctuary warden and professional photographer, they are fully illustrated in colour and give you an itch to get out and go to the places covered. We often go to Padstow but I really had no idea there was so much of interest in the whole estuary and that particularly applies to the countryside and the wildlife. Can’t wait to explore!

I have taken to reading Agatha Christie again for light bedtime reading. Ok her characterisations are a bit wooden but we can still add in our own details, for Poirot and Hastings anyway, from the TV series and fill out their characters a bit (which is what I inevitably do). It was lucky that I had ‘The Mysterious Affair at Styles’ as this was her The-Mysterious-Affair-at-Styles.JPGfirst published novel and introduced those characters plus Japp who develops into an interesting addition to most Poirot stories. She also sets her story in a country manor house which of course becomes a recurring theme as does the means of death – poison.  Agatha was a pharmacy assistant during the Blitz and gained an extensive knowledge of poisons which she puts to good use in her novels. The plot is not straightforward especially for tired nighttime reading, and I found I had to keep going back and then didn’t totally understand the final denouement! However I console myselfDead-Mans-Folly.JPG with the fact that F. had to read it twice. I may read it again…..‘Dead Man’s Folly’ holds a particular fascination for us as it is ‘set’ in what was Agatha Christie’s holiday house (mansion) on the River Dart near where we used to live in Dartmouth, and the murder takes place in the boathouse which we know well. Again a bit convoluted at the end but most enjoyable……




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