I’ve mostly been doing background reading for the next book, which is set around the activities of a gallant group of Smith alums who went over to France to aid French villagers right behind the front lines during World War I.
I’ve been wallowing in their letters, which read like Rilla of Ingleside— so tongue-in-cheek and clever and earnest all at the same time!– and reading tomes like Lynn Dumenil’s The Second Line of Defense: American Women and World War I. And sobbing over the Peter Jackson documentary.
I can’t resist: here are two of my favorite excerpts so far.
The Smith women on traumatizing French bureaucrats: “The poor man stayed over his lunch hour before he knew it and I don’t think he will ever quite recover…. He shook his head and said something about Americans.”
And on the peculiarities of the British: “I have never seen anything more amazing than the British officers. Long, clean-cut, absolutely trim in appearance, well-tailored, they stalk along at the head of their companies through miles of mud in the most casual way as though out on a Sunday afternoon walk; it wouldn’t seem to occur to you that they had any idea of fighting. I believe they are said to go into battle in the same casual way….”
Do not even get me started on their battles with livestock.
When I haven’t been just behind the trenches with my Smithies, I wound up accidentally skipping over a couple of Bruno books and landing on Book 6 in the Bruno, Chief of Police series, The Devil’s Cave, in which our favorite French local policeman must solve a mystery involving a recreation of a 17th century Black Mass and a very modern property scam.
Right now, I’m thinking I might take a Bruno break and return to one of my favorite Georgette Heyers– or possibly read some of the ARCs that have been piling up!
What have you been reading this week?