Skip to main content

Sunday Salon


I’ve been busy working lately, so my reading has fallen off a bit. However, I did manage to finish The Observations, by Jane Harris, which I thoroughly enjoyed. It’s a Victorian-style ghost story, but so much more at the same time. Review to be posted soon.

Book buying has continued, with the purchase of The Lady Chapel and The Nun’s Tale, the second and third books in the Owen Archer mystery series. I read The Apothecary Rose in 2005, and never got around to the rest of the series because they’re so hard to find in bookstores or libraries. But I finally found inexpensive copies of The Lady Chapel and The Nun’s Tale through Powell’s Books.

Then, yesterday, I picked up two books in the Morland series: The Black Pearl (#5, about the reign of Charles II) and The Question (# 25; takes place during the Boer War). I also picked up a novel called Harriet and Isabella, by Patricia O’Brien. It’s about the relationship between Harriet Beecher Stowe and her sister Isabella Beecher Hooker, during the time that their brother, Henry Ward Beecher, went through an infamous adultery trial. It’s set in Brooklyn Heights, very near where I used to live. Currently I’m reading The Black Pearl. I’ve been told that I should start the series from the beginning, but I’ve found that I haven’t been too lost thus far.

Comments

S. Krishna said…
Hmm...I put down The Observations after reading about 100 pages. Maybe I should go back and finish it!
Anonymous said…
I have HARRIET AND ISABELLA here somewhere. Probably behind some of the double stacked items. Your comments reminded me of why I purchased it in the first place. Look forward to hearing your thoughts when you get around to it.
Sandra said…
I really enjoyed The Observations, I look forward to your review. I have copies of The Apothecary Rose and A Gift Of Sanctuary on my shelves waiting. I got them on ebay with some other books and never got to them. I'll try them next time I'm in the mood for a mystery. If you haven't read A Gift of Sanctuary and can't find a copy I'd be happy to send it to you when I'm finished reading it. I don't usually keep mysteries after I'm done with them. Just let me know.
Anonymous said…
That's funny. I got Harriet and Isabella this week, too. It sounds interesting, doesn't it? I hope that we both enjoy it.

Popular posts from this blog

Review: Forever Amber, by Kathleen Winsor

Forever Amber takes place in the 1660s, immediately follwing Charles II's ("the Merry Monarch") return of the Stuarts to the English throne. The book features Amber St. Claire, a young woman who starts out as a sixteen-year-old country girl, naieve to the workings of the world. She immediately meets Bruce Carlton, a dashing young Cavalier, with whom she has a passionate love affair in choppy intervals throughout the book. They have two children together, but Bruce won't marry her for the reason he tells his friend Lord Almsbury: that Amber just isn't the kind of woman one marries.

Upon following Bruce to London, he goes to Virginia, leaving her to fend for herself. What follows is a series of affairs and four marriages, with Bruce coming back from America now and then. Amber's marriages are imprudent: her first husband is a gambler, her second is an old dotard, her third locks her up in the house for days and won't let her out; and the last is a fop who a…

Review: This Rough Magic, by Mary Stewart

Pages: 254Original date of publication: 1964My edition: 1964 (William Morrow)Why I decided to read: it was 90 degrees outside at the time and I decided it was time to read another book by a favorite authorHow I acquired my copy: from Susanna Kearsley, December 2009Sometimes, whether or not I decide to read a book depends on the weather. Mary Stewart’s books are best read on either very hot or very cold days; and since it was 90 degrees out one weekend a couple of weeks ago, I decided that this one would be perfect. And it was.This Rough Magic takes its title from The Tempest, a play from which this novel takes off. Lucy Waring is a struggling actress who comes to visit her sister on Corfu. One of her neighbors is a renowned actor who’s taken a bit of a sabbatical and his son, a musician with whom Lucy comes to blows at first. This Rough Magic is vintage Mary Stewart, with a murder or two, a mystery, romance, suspense, and lots of magic thrown in. Lucy is your typical Mary Stewart hero…

Review: Joy in the Morning, by Betty Smith

Pages: 294
Original date of publication: 1963
My edition: 2010 (Harper Perennial)
Why I decided to read:
How I acquired my copy: Barnes and Noble, Phoenix, January 2011


A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is one of my all-time favorite books and I’ve read it, oh, half a dozen times, so I was interested to see how Joy in the Morning would compare.

Set in the late 1920s, Joy in the Morning begins when Annie, aged 18, comes to a small Midwestern college town where her fiancée, Carl, is in law school. The novel opens with their marriage in the county courthouse, and follows the couple through their first year or so of marriage. It’s a struggle, because Carl and Annie are basically children themselves, for all the ways in which Carl tries to appear more adult-like.

Annie is endearing; she’s ignorant but a voracious reader, reading everything from Babbitt to War and Peace. Betty Smith’s novels are pretty autobiographical; Joy in the Morning is (unofficially) a kind of sequel to A Tree Grows in Brooklyn—cert…