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2012 Reading

1. They Knew Mr. Knight, by Dorothy Whipple *****
2. Nella Last's War, by Nella Last ****1/2
3. Q's Legacy, by Helene Hanff ****
4. That Lady, by Kate O'Brien ***1/2
5. Consequences, by EM Delafield ****1/2
6. Tun-Huang, by Yasushi Inoue ***
7. The Strangers in the House, by Georges Simenon ****1/2
8. A Month in the Country, by JL Carr ***1/2

2. The Bell, by Iris Murdoch *****
3. The Dark Tide, by Vera Brittain ***1/2
4. The Elements of Style, by Strunk and White *****
5. Mandoa, Mandoa! by Winifred Holtby ***1/2
6. Memento Mori, by Muriel Spark ****
7. A House in the Country, by Jocelyn Playfair ***1/2
8. The Legacy, by Katherine Webb ****
9. An Unsuitable Attachment, by Barbara Pym ****1/2
10. Great Granny Webster, by Caroline Blackwood ****

1. Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake, by Anna Quindlen ****
2. The Weather in the Streets, by Rosamond Lehmann ***
3. The Vet's Daughter, by Barbara Comyns *****
4. Hotel du Lac, by Anita Brookner ****
5. The Children Who Lived in a Barn, by Eleanor Graham ***1/2
6. Rule Britannia, by Daphne Du Maurier ****
7. Together and Apart, by Margaret Kennedy ****1/2
8. Original Letters From India, by Eliza Fay ****
9. Complications, by Atul Gawande ****

1. The Uninvited Guests, by Sadie Jones *
2. The Medical Detectives, by Berton Rouche ****
3. Wait for Me! by Deborah Devonshire ****1/2
4. Midsummer Night in the Workhouse, by Diana Athill ****
5. Shadow of the Moon, by MM Kaye *****
6. Territorial Rights, by Muriel Spark *****
7. Aiding and Abetting, by Muriel Spark ****1/2
8. Joy in the Morning, by Betty Smith ****
9. The Unseen, by Katherine Webb ***1/2
10. The Infernal World of Branwell Bronte, by Daphne Du Maurier ****

1. Elizabeth I, by Margaret George ****
2. The Kings' Mistresses, by Elizabeth Goldsmith ****
3. Angel, by Elizabeth Taylor *****
4. Bring up the Bodies, by Hilary Mantel *****
5. Our Spoons Came From Woolworths, by Barbara Comyns ***
6. China to Me, by Emily Hahn ****
7. Mrs. Robinson's Disgrace, by Kate Summerscale ****
8. Peking Picnic, by Ann Bridge ****1/2
9. The Cause, by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles ***1/2
10. The Moonspinners, by Mary Stewart ****1/2
11. Doreen, by Barbara Noble *****
12. Mrs. Tim Carries On, by DE Stevenson *****

1. Have His Carcase, by Dorothy Sayers ****
2. The Prince of Mist, by Carlos Ruiz Zafon ***
3. The New York Stories of Elizabeth Hardwick ***
4. Morality Play, by Barry Unsworth **1/2
5. The Shuttle, by Frances Hodgson Burnett ****1/2
6. Zoe, by Geraldine Jewsbury ***
7. Villette, by Charlotte Bronte *****
8. The Roaring Nineties, by Katharine Susannah Prichard ****1/2

1. The Queen's Vow, by CW Gortner **
2. BUtterfield 8, by John O'Hara ****
3. Memoirs of Montparnasse, by John Glassco ****
4. The Way Things Are, by EM Delafield ****1/2
5. The Fortnight in September, by RC Sherriff ****
6. Little Boy Lost, by Marghanita Laski ***1/2
7. A Few Green Leaves, by Barbara Pym ****
8. Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance, by Atul Gawande ****1/2
9. The Ordeal of Elizabeth Marsh, by Linda Colley ***1/2
10. Winter Sonata, by Dorothy Edwards****

1. My Brilliant Career, by Miles Franklin***1/2
2. Bobbin' Up, by Dorothy Hewett****
3. Luminous Isle, by Elliott Bliss****1/2
4. Elizabeth and her German Garden, by Elizabeth von Arnim***
5. Mary O'Grady, by Mary Lavin****
6. Young Entry, by Molly Keane****
7. The Lost Traveller, by Antonia White****1/2

1. The Customs of the Country, by Edith Wharton*****
2. The Flight of the Falcon, by Daphne Du Maurier****
3. No Surrender, by Constance Maud****
4. Cider with Rosie, by Laurie Lee****
5. An Interrupted Life: The Diaries and Letters of Etty Hillesum 1941-43*****
6. Less than Angels, by Barbara Pym****1/2
7. The Glimpses of the Moon, by Edith Wharton****

1. Harold the King, by Helen Hollick****
2. The Checklist Manifesto, by Atul Gawande****
3. On the Night of the Seventh Moon, by Victoria Holt****
4. Stiff, by Mary Roach****1/2
5. Herself Surprised, by Joyce Cary****
6. Washington Square, by Henry James****1/2
7. Minnie's Room, by Mollie Panter-Downes****1/2
8. Women Against Men, by Storm Jameson****
9. The Constant Nymph, by Margaret Kennedy**

1. Miss Buncle Married, by DE Stevenson****1/2
2. A Favourite of the Gods, by Sybille Bedford****
3. Gaudy Night, by Dorothy Sayers*****
4. The World is Not Enough, by Zoe Oldenbourg***
5. Away, by Jane Urquhart****
6. The Judge, by Rebecca West**1/2

1. Some Everyday Folk and Dawn, by Miles Franklin****
2. Farewell Leicester Square, by Betty Miller****
3. The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, by Oliver Sacks****
4. Wigs on the Green, by Nancy Mitford***1/2
5. Hindoo Holiday, by JR Ackerley***1/2
6. Westwood, by Stella Gibbons*****
7. Miss Hargreaves, by Frank Baker***1/2

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Review: Forever Amber, by Kathleen Winsor

Pages: 972Originally published: 1944My edition: 2000 (Chicago Review Press)How I acquired my copy:, 2004

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…