Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Tuesday Intro: The Seven Sisters

PART ONE
Her Diary
I have just got back from my Health Club. I have switched on this modern laptop machine. And I have told myself that I must resist the temptation to start playing solitaire upon it. Instead, I am going to write some kind of diary. I haven't kept a diary since I was at school. En effet, we all used to keep them. Julia, Janet and I, and all the other girls. It was the fashion, at St. Anne's, in the Fourth Form. Nothing much happened to us, but we all wrote about it nonetheless. We wrote about our young, trivial, daily hopes, our likes and dislikes, our friends and our enemies, our hockey games and our blackheads and our crushes and our faith in God. We wrote about what we thought about Emily Brontë and the dissection of frogs. I don't think we were very honest in our diaries. Blackheads and acne were as far as we got in out truth-telling in those days.
The Seven Sisters
by Margaret Drabble

A quiet, introspective novel about a woman scorned seems an odd choice to kick off my summer reading, but it was cold, damp, and dreary when I brought it home from the library last Thursday. And it's certainly holding my interest. The diary format in this first section is appealing, too. Maybe I'll turn to light and fun next week.

Here's the goodreads summary:
Candida Wilton--a woman recently betrayed, rejected, divorced, and alienated from her three grown daughters--moves from a beautiful Georgian house in lovely Suffolk to a two-room walk-up flat in a run-down building in central London. Candida is not exactly destitute. So, is the move perversity, she wonders, a survival test, or is she punishing herself? How will she adjust to this shabby, menacing, but curiously appealing city? What can happen, at her age, to change her life? And yet, as she climbs the dingy communal staircase with her suitcases, she feels both nervous and exhilarated. 
There is a relationship with a computer to which she now confides her past and her present. And friendships of sorts with other women--widows, divorced, never married, women straddled between generations. And then Candida's surprise inheritance . . .
A beautifully rendered story, this is Margaret Drabble at her novelistic best.
What do you think? Would you keep reading?


Every Tuesday, Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea posts the opening paragraph (sometime two) of a book she decided to read based on the opening. Feel free to grab the banner and play along.

44 comments:

  1. I was intrigued when I saw this in your sidebar! I read one or two of her books so long ago, and remember enjoying them. On the other hand, I have a quiet, introspective book of another kind out of the library and just couldn't bring myself to start it over the long weekend..

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    1. Audrey - I know I read her years ago, but can't find the title in my reading journal.... so it must have been a REALLY long time ago!

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  2. At first I wasn't sure, but the blurb drew me in. Why would she want to move from a lovely home to a tiny, dreary city apartment? Why is she alienated from her daughters? This is probably one of those stories that will grow on you as you go along. I will honestly say that if I found it in the library I would pick it up now that you featured it. Otherwise I would have passed it by.

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    1. Rita - The blurb really drew me in, too... much more than the opening paragraph.

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  3. I would definitely keep reading and I'm looking forward to your review on this one! It sounds like a good read and I like the premise.

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    1. Katherine - It's a slow-moving, meandering kind of novel. May take a little longer to finish.

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  4. Oh, I would like this one! The cover, though rainy like the weather around here last week, makes me want to read it. And your first chapter, first paragraph makes me want to read it even more.

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    1. Grammajudyb - I love that cover, too!

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  5. When I first noticed this one on your blog, it triggered some memories. I have enjoyed this author, and I know I read this one...but so long ago that it was before blogging, so I don't have a review of it anywhere. But I am sure I even had a copy of the book at one point, and dang it! It must have gone out in one of the purges, or maybe even when I moved and cleared things out. Now I want to reread it!

    Thanks for reminding me of it...there is something in the character's voice that I find so appealing.

    Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

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    1. Laurel-Rain Snow - And I read at least one of her books ages ago, before blogging, and can't even figure out which one it was! This one is a very slow reveal of character and circumstances... good so far.

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  6. I'd keep reading. I'm wondering why she'd move to a dive if she didn't have to. And, I want to see how her story unfolds.

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    1. Vicki - Her marriage has fallen apart... the circumstances and backstory are very slowly coming out.

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  7. I'm not sure about this one. I do like the cover, and it has my interest. I'm just not sure it would keep it.

    Today I am featuring The Last Original Wife by Dorothea Benton Frank.

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    1. Kim - I like that cover a lot, too. This type of slow, introspective novel turns many readers off... especially as the weather turns warmer.

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  8. I really loved that intro! I could go for a quiet novel about a woman scorned given that voice! Will be interested to hear your thoughts when you're done.

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    1. Sarah - I'm enjoying her straight-laced, inflexible voice, but would love to know what her husband and daughters have to say! Not sure if the entire book is her diary or if we'll get to hear from them.

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  9. I'm ready for a quiet, introspective story, and this sounds like a good one. Thank you for introducing me to this author and for visiting my blog today.
    Sandy @ TEXAS TWANG

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    1. Sandra - This is an older book (maybe 2002) and is a move change of pace. Drabble is A.S.Byatt's sister.

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  10. I think if I was in the mood for something like this book that I would enjoy it very much. Right now I'm more wanting to read conspiracy laden novels. Girl Who Reads

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    1. Donna - You'd definitely need to be in the right mood for this one.

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  11. I can see why you brought it home. Especially if it was a rainy day and it had that cover. Ha! Seriously, it drew me in. I'd want to find out about her life and I can see the appeal of the computer and writing a diary of sorts. Isn't that kind of what we all do? In a way? Enjoy and I look forward to hearing what you think.

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    1. Kay - I couldn't walk by that cover, lol! The novel seems to be a slow reveal of her character and circumstances... not something you can read quickly.

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  12. I've never read anything by Margaret Drabble, but if the writing is good (and judging by the first paragraph it is) the somber tone is not as big a factor. Besides, I'm thinking that this is the year without a summer (Colorado is rainy and very cool), so reading quiet, introspective books this summer may be spot on.

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    1. JaneGS - Oh, no! I hope rainy and cool does not last all summer. I'm enjoying this character even though she seems incredibly rigid and straight-laced so far. Hoping we get to hear from other members of her family.

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  13. I'd like to know more and I've often wished I'd kept a diary. Definitely a good read for a rainy day. Thanks for visiting my Tuesday post https://cleopatralovesbooks.wordpress.com/2015/05/26/first-chapter-first-paragraph-may-26/

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    1. Cleo - This is a good read for a rainy day, for sure! Wish I'd kept a diary, too.

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  14. I haven't read anything by Margaret Drabble yet although I do know her. I'm definitely intrigued by the idea of a computer journal since journal writing is such an old literature form! Thanks for sharing :) I hope you have a great week and that I see you at ABEA!
    My Tuesday post
    Juli @ Universe in Words

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    1. Juli - I wish I could go to BEA this year, but the timing just doesn't work. Have a great time!!

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  15. Ohmigosh! I've read and enjoyed Margaret Drabble, especially in the 1970s and 1980s, but I didn't know about this one!! I'm really excited, JoAnn. Sounds like it's right up my alley at the moment. Thanks so much for sharing it.
    Judith (Reader in the Wilderness)

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    1. Judith - I know I read Drabble back in the 80s, well before blogging and reading journals. Unfortunately, I can't remember which book(s) I read and the titles don't sound familiar. It's good to hear from you... hope all is well.

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  16. I never read anything by this author but this looks like a good book.

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    1. Yvonne - It's very good so far, but not what I'd call unputdownable.

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  17. I like the voice in the beginning paragraph. The story appeals to me. I look forward to seeing what you think.

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    1. Margot - I really like it so far, but it's not a quick read. May take a while to finish...

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  18. I like the voice and you just reminded me that I have a copy of this somewhere LOL

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    1. Diane - I like her voice, too, though after 80 pages she is beginning o get on my nerves ;-)

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  19. That is a very good beginning. I haven't heard of this one so I hope you enjoy it!

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    1. Athira - This is an older book... published in 2002, I think.

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  20. I would keep reading. I liked the intro and would like to know why her daughters are alienated from her.

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    1. Nise' - I'm still trying to work out why her daughters all sided with their father.

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  21. I love stories about new beginnings, and I love the cover. This looks really interesting, so I'd keep reading!

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    1. Monica - So far, her new beginning seems pretty grim. I'm looking forward to seeing how (and if) things improve.

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  22. I would keep reading. I used to love Margaret Drabble, but I haven't read anything by her in a long time.

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    1. Patience Crabstick - I haven't read Drabble in ages, but am enjoying this quiet novel. It's definitely not a book you can rush through.

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