This week, I’m very grateful for the kindness of friends (okay, my Tennessee Williams drawl just did not come out right on that one). Actually, the kindness of one friend, who sent me this care package:
I haven’t watched the movie yet, but, as you can imagine, neither of those books went un-read.
Here’s what I’ve been reading this week:
— Anne Fremantle, editor, The Wynne Diaries The Adventures of Two Sisters in Napoleonic Europe.
If you like pure, unmediated history with a tang of epistolary novel, this is the compilation for you. These are the diaries and letters of Betsey and Eugenia Wynne, along with the letters of some of their friends and compatriots, including Betsey’s husband, Captain Fremantle, arranged chronologically. The letters run from 1789 through 1820 and provide a brilliant, court-side view of many events and characters with which we’re familiar, from Admiral Nelson to our old buddy, the Duc de Berry. For anyone who gets annoyed with “in the early nineteenth century, a lady would never…” here’s your rejoinder. These ladies got around.
— Julia Spencer-Fleming, One Was a Soldier.
I love this series. The character development, the plotting, the prose. For those who haven’t read these Adirondack-set mysteries, start with Book I, In the Bleak Midwinter.
— Jo Goodman, If His Kiss Is Wicked.
How did I never discover Jo Goodman before? This is a beautifully written, cleverly plotted 1820-set romance. It’s not a light and fluffy bonnets and beaux book, but darker, in a way that reminds me a bit of Meredith Duran’s books. Very highly recommended. (Thanks, Vicki, for sending it to me!)
— Kate Saunders, Wild Young Bohemians.
I’m a huge fan of Kate Saunders’ The Marrying Game and Bachelor Boys, so I was thrilled to discover that she had three previous books out. This one, about a group of Oxford friends in the 1980s, the family home with which one of them is obsessed, and the path of destruction that follows that obsession, is a little… odd. Compelling, but odd. I spent most of it hating most of the characters, but couldn’t stop reading anyway.
What have you been reading?