I started off the week with two books from my college roommate’s care package, both by an author unfamiliar to me, Anna Barrie. They were very different from each other– and I loved them both. They were:
— The Linden Tree, a thoughtful modern romance between an emotionally damaged woman and a physically damaged man who jointly inherit a famous garden and must learn to work together, healing themselves in the process;
— and Briar Rose, a sweeping, multi-generational tale about the tangled lives of two families between the two World Wars in rural England.
Once I’d finished those, it was on to my Tucson Book Festival finds:
— Napoleon’s Pyramids, by William Dietrich.
I had the great privilege to be on a panel with William Dietrich at the Tucson Festival of Books, where we discovered that we liked to hang out with the same quirky cast of Napoleonic characters (the device that Augustus finds in The Garden Intrigue? Also shows up in one of the Ethan Gage novels). Napoleon’s Pyramids is the first in the Ethan Gage series, about an American in Napoleonic Europe. It’s a little bit Flashmanand a little Rafael Sabtini, From the moment Ethan Gage, Dietrich’s rascally, roguish hero, bumps into English adventurer Sir Sidney Smith, I was hooked.
— The Orchid House, by Lucinda Riley.
As Deborah Crombie said in yesterday’s Jungle Red Writers post, when Barbara Peters of the Poisoned Pen tells you to read something, you read it. So when Barbara handed me The Orchid House, it went straight to the top of the To Read pile (as in the book sticking out of my bag on the flight home). It goes back and forth between modern England and the hectic days of World War II, tracing the complicated relationships between the members of the Great House and the gardener’s granddaughter. Thematically, it’s very similar to my Kenya book– something in the air, perhaps?
What have you been reading this week?