How is it September already?
I saw out the summer with winter in Scotland: Alexandra Raife’s Until the Spring, in which a pregnant woman seeks refuge with her lover’s family in a remote Scottish manor house after being tossed out by her adoptive parents. This Alexandra Raife book in particular is oh so very Britain in the 90s– when I read it, I can picture the sorts of outfits (and attitudes) from Britcoms like As Time Goes By and Waiting for God, shoulder pads and heavy blush for the city dwellers, baggy skirts and padded vests for the country folk.
I left Scotland for a London that never was, via the The Invisible Library, in which a Librarian must go undercover in an alternate realm to recover a dangerous book, encountering dragons, detectives, and afternoon tea along the way. Think a little The Librarians and a little Parasol Protectorate. And it’s the first in a series!
But I found I needed more Scotland, so I went back to my Alexandra Raife collection for Drumveyn, which is basically Monarch of the Glen under another name: a young laird named Archie, who has been living in London with an emotionally detached Englishwoman with a trendy haircut, who returns to the ancestral estate to help put things in order. And did I mention there’s a feisty cook? (Not named Lexy.) The big difference is that a lot of the emotional focus of the story is Archie’s mother, who, unlike Monarch of the Glen, is less a comic side character and more of a protagonist, coming into her own after her controlling husband’s death.
Right now, I’m about to launch the Labor Day weekend by treating myself to Georgette Heyer’s Frederica, which, somehow, I had managed to not read all these years. (Thanks, Alison Doherty, for bringing it to my attention!) Such joy to find an unread book by a favorite author!
What have you been reading this week?