Thursday, October 31, 2013

Coral Glynn by Peter Cameron

Coral Glynn
by Peter Cameron
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012
210 pages
source: borrowed from the library

Motivation: Cosy Book's review

Summary (from amazon):

In the spring of 1950, Coral Glynn arrives at an isolated mansion in the English countryside to nurse the elderly Edith Hart. There, Coral meets Hart House’s odd inhabitants: Mrs. Prence, the perpetually disgruntled housekeeper, and Major Clement Hart, her charge’s war-ravaged son. When a child’s game goes violently awry in the nearby woods, a great shadow—love, perhaps—descends upon its residents. Other seemingly random events—a torn dress, a missing ring, a lost letter—propel Coral and Clement precipitously into the mysterious thicket of marriage.

Written with his unique sense of wit and empathy, Peter Cameron’s brilliant novel is a stunning exploration of how need and desire can blossom into love—and just as quickly transform into something less categorical.

Brief thoughts:

This contemporary novel has a distinctly vintage feel that seemed (to me) vaguely reminiscent of Rebecca.  It's an odd, atmospheric little book set mainly in an English country house. In fact, the word "odd" appears with alarming frequency.  I didn't count myself, but another reader reported over 50 instances in the 210 pages.

The story takes several unexpected turns, becoming slightly dark and sinister at times, yet Coral, a visiting nurse, remains an enigma throughout. She makes the strangest statements and choices, and I never could figure out what made her tick. As a result, I felt slightly off-balance the entire time.

I'm not sure if I truly liked Coral Glynn, but it was perfect R.I.P. reading.

A few quotes:
"For a moment she thought perhaps it was enough to have come this far, to have merely seen him. Because she did not know exactly why she had come, or what she exactly wanted, it was difficult to know what to do or when to leave." 
"What a hard, unsatisfying word: "friendship." It was worth very little, friendship. It did not keep you warm at night. You could not even touch it. Friendship gave you a little bit of something you needed a lot of, slowly starving you, weakening you, breaking you down." 
"But you see, as I have never completely had him, I have always missed him. Parts of him. Perhaps it is better to lose something entirely than to clutch at pieces of it."
Bottom line:
An unusual R.I.P. read, vaguely reminiscent of Rebecca.

My rating:

Saturday, October 26, 2013

This Week in the Kitchen #2, Plus a Pin It and Do It Wrap-Up

Weekend Cooking, hosted at Beth Fish Reads, is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page.

It's been a relatively slow week in the kitchen (seems like one of us was out almost every evening), but I still managed to try a couple of new recipes.

Crab bisque is one of our favorite soups and I've use the same recipe for twenty years. My cousin's wife found it taped inside the cupboard door of a Virginia Beach cottage. It is delicious and over the years I've tweaked it a little, but never really liked the fact that condensed cream of celery soup was at its core, even if it is fat-free.

My husband loves this recipe, but I'm ready for a change. Stephanie O'Dea's Make It Fast, Cook It Slow contains a recipe for Fish Chowder that looked easy, so I decided to give it a try.

It smelled a little too fishy to me as it bubbled in the slow cooker, but it tasted pretty good. I used frozen tilapia filets (any white fish should work) and added cooked shrimp for the last twenty minutes. Next time I'll consider adding crab meat and scallops, too.

This recipe called for just 1/4 teaspoon of Old Bay seasoning, but I doubled that amount and added a little garlic salt, too. The recipe* is  available on her blog - that's where I found the photo, too.

*Note: The online recipe omits Old Bay seasoning, but it's included in the cookbook version. I think the chowder would be far too bland without it.

The other new recipe this week was Smoky Maple-Mustard Salmon (my pin) from It was so simple and delicious! The smoked paprika adds wonderful flavor, while the whole grain dijon mustard enhances the texture. It took literally 15 minutes to get dinner on the table. I wouldn't change a thing! The photo is from Pinterest.

And finally, although not food-related, I've discovered a few new ways to to tie my favorite scarves.

Thanks, Trish, for hosting another round of Pin It and Do It. It has become my favorite challenge!

Friday, October 25, 2013

JFK's Last Hundred Days by Thurston Clarke (audio)

JFK's Last Hundred Days: The Transformation of a Man and the Emergence of a Great President
by Thurston Clarke
Narrated by Malcolm Hillgartner
Penguin Audio, 2013
14 hours and 48 minutes
source: review copy from publisher

Motivation: a long-standing fascination with the Kennedy family

One sentence summary (from goodreads):
A revelatory, minute-by-minute account of JFK’s last hundred days that asks what might have been.

My thoughts:
Where were you on 11/22/63? If you're over fifty, chances are you have both an answer and a story to go with it. As we approach the 50th anniversary of JFK's assassination, they are bound to be shared. Historians, too, are re-examining many aspects of that tragic time and, naturally, we're seeing a  long list of new Kennedy books being published.

What makes Clarke's book both different and effective is its structure. He begins with Day 100 in August 1963 and moves forward through the fall counting down the days, chronicling Kennedy's activities, meetings, and personal life. The reader cannot help but feel an increasing sense of dread as the days tick away and the end approaches.

The book was fascinating and presents Kennedy in a very favorable light. One can't help but wonder what if...

A note on the audio production:
This was the first time I've listened to Malcolm Hillgartner and he was excellent. With a wide variety of accents, his voice lends itself very well to nonfiction. In fact, I'm currently listening to another of his narrations (The Patriarch  by David Nasaw).

As usual with nonfiction audiobooks, you'll want to visit your  library or bookstore to look at the photos Clarke has included with the text.

My rating:

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tuesday Intro: Coral Glynn

That spring --the spring of 1950-- had been particularly wet. 
An area at the bottom of the garden at Hart House flooded, creating a shallow pool through which the crocuses gamely raised their little flounced heads, like cold shivering children in a swimming class. The blond gravel on the garden paths had turned green, each pebble wrapped in a moist transparent blanket of slime, and one could not sit on either of the two cement benches that flanked the river gate without first unhinging the snails and slugs adhered to them. 
The excessive moisture of the garden was of no concern to anyone at Hart House except for the new nurse, who had arrived on Thursday, and had attempted, on the two afternoons that were somewhat mild, to sit outside for a moment, away from the sickness and strain of the house. But she found the garden inhospitable, and so had resolved to stay indoors.
Coral Glynn
by Peter Cameron

After reading about this title at Cosy Books a couple of weeks ago, I decided to request a copy from my library. I'd never heard of the author, but tend to love novels set in an English country home. Although published in 2012, the book has a much older and slightly ominous feel. It may even turn out to be suitable for RIP.

What do you think of the opening? 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.

Monday, October 21, 2013

A November Readalong

You all know how much I enjoy a good readalong, right? Well, I was pretty happy to learn that Melissa and Care are teaming up for a November Readalong of If on a Winter's Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino. It's going to be pretty low key - begin reading in November, post some thoughts mid-month (if you want to), and wrap it all up December 1. We will also use the hashtag #ReadCalvino to keep in touch via twitter.

That sounds pretty simple, plus it's a short book and I've been curious about it for a long time. I'm especially glad to be reading this one with friends since Calvino intimidates me. Actually, anything even vaguely experimental intimidates me.

Here is the summary from goodreads:

If on a Winter's Night a Traveler  is a marvel of ingenuity, an experimental text that looks longingly back to the great age of narration--"when time no longer seemed stopped and did not yet seem to have exploded." Italo Calvino's novel is in one sense a comedy in which the two protagonists, the Reader and the Other Reader, ultimately end up married, having almost finished If on a Winter's Night a Traveler.  In another, it is a tragedy, a reflection on the difficulties of writing and the solitary nature of reading. The Reader buys a fashionable new book, which opens with an exhortation: "Relax. Concentrate. Dispel every other thought. Let the world around you fade." Alas, after 30 or so pages, he discovers that his copy is corrupted, and consists of nothing but the first section, over and over. Returning to the bookshop, he discovers the volume, which he thought was by Calvino, is actually by the Polish writer Bazakbal. Given the choice between the two, he goes for the Pole, as does the Other Reader, Ludmilla. But this copy turns out to be by yet another writer, as does the next, and the next. 
The real Calvino intersperses 10 different pastiches--stories of menace, spies, mystery, premonition--with explorations of how and why we read, make meanings, and get our bearings or fail to. Meanwhile the Reader and Ludmilla try to reach, and read, each other. If on a Winter's Night  is dazzling, vertiginous, and deeply romantic. "What makes lovemaking and reading resemble each other most is that within both of them times and spaces open, different from measurable time and space."
Intrigued? Check out Melissa's and Care's announcement posts - they convinced me!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Weekend Cooking: Mad About Mussels

Inspired by Trish's latest Pin It and Do It Challenge, this week's post is about my experience preparing mussels at home. I love most types of fish and shellfish, but only developed a taste for mussels within the past couple of years. Actually, I never even tried them until our favorite local restaurant began offering Thai Curry Mussels as an appetizer. Initially I sampled just the broth from my husband's bowl, but the second time we ordered it I had worked up the courage to try a mussel, too. I suppose that over the years I'd convinced myself I didn't like them, and was shocked to discover they were delicious!

We soon found ourselves splitting mussels as an appetizer whenever the opportunity presented itself. The range of flavors was astonishing and I began to wonder if I could replicated any of them at home. Wegmans almost always has fresh mussels available, but a little research was necessary.

As I began pinning recipes, it hit me that I didn't know how to clean or prep the mussels. A quick search turned up this pin which lead to the article "How to Clean Mussels" at It told me all I needed to know... with photos. A Pinterest win!

The first recipe I tried was this pin for Curried Mussels from A Beautiful Bite. It was very tasty, but with heavy cream and full-fat coconut milk, not quite as healthful as I would have liked. It also had a strong Indian flavor, not like the Thai from our local restaurant. A qualified success, but I was so wrapped up in the preparation that I forgot to take a picture. This one if from Pinterest.

Next up was Mussels with White Wine from (my pin). The cooking technique was the same as my first attempt, but this recipe was much lighter and more to our taste. It definitely earned on spot in my recipe collection. I even remembered to photograph the finished product, although the one from the website looks much more appealing.

Sometime over the next couple of weeks, I plan to try Thai Steamed Mussels. This could be even closer to the restaurant dish. We'll see...

Do you like mussels? Have you prepared them at home? I'm open to suggestions.

Weekend Cooking, hosted at Beth Fish Reads, is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page.

Friday, October 18, 2013

The Age of Innocence and a Perfect Day

Sometimes a reading experience can be just as memorable as the book itself. Last month I had the pleasure of reading The Age of Innocence with Audrey, another long-time Edith Wharton fan. It was a reread for her, but somehow I never got around to reading the book many refer to as Wharton's masterpiece.

Goodreads sums it up nicely in just one sentence:
Winner of the 1921 Pulitzer Prize, The Age of Innocence  is Edith Wharton’s masterful portrait of desire and betrayal during the sumptuous Golden Age of Old New York, a time when society people “dreaded scandal more than disease.”

The main character, Newland Archer, is caught between desire and duty. Archer is engaged to May Welland, a quintessential product of the society in which she has been raised, but he begins to develop feelings for May's free-spirited cousin, Countess Ellen Olenska, who has recently returned to New York to escape an unhappy marriage.

Wharton's style is immediately recognizable and the story drew me in right away, but her portrayal of 'society' also fascinated me. Societal constraints appeared suffocating, arbitrary, and at times laughable. For example, it was considered vulgar to appear in the latest fashion. New dresses were ordered from Paris only to hang in closets for two years. After that amount of time had lapsed, they were deemed appropriate.

I don't want to say anything more about the plot, but the last chapter just bowled me over. Can there be a better ending in all of literature? Set 26 years later, it transformed a really good novel into a great one. The Custom of the Country  has long been my favorite Wharton novel but, after reading that last chapter,  The Age of Innocence  moved into my top slot. However, I still think Undine Spragg is Wharton's most memorable character.

The Age of Innocence  was a read/listen combination for me. Although a beautiful hardcover has been on my shelf for years, I downloaded a free kindle edition and a 99 cent audible special narrated by Laural Merlington (who captured the tone of the novel perfectly). Whispersync is so convenient!

My rating:

The only thing better than a shared read with a blogging friend is to meet in person and talk about it. If that meeting happens to take place at the author's home, then all the better. Audrey and I had the opportunity to meet a couple of Sundays ago at The Mount, Wharton's home in Lenox, MA.

We had lunch on the terrace and talked about The Age of Innocence, books, blogging, life, baking, and much more. After lunch we toured the house, gardens, and, of course, the gift shop.

Audrey and JoAnn at The Mount

Although it was a grey, drizzly, frizzy-hair kind of day, it didn't dampen our enjoyment in the least. We're already talking about planning another bookish activity, possibly next spring or summer. In the meantime, I need to read that biography by Hermione Lee I bought five years ago on my last visit to The Mount.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

A Bookish Hangover

After finishing two books in the past two days  - Stoner by John Williams and Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo - it feels like I'm at loose ends. There are literally stacks of books surrounding me, yet I am unable to move on.

Stoner  is a beautifully written, incredibly moving character study. A true five star read, it has earned a place on my list of all-time favorite books. Behind the Beautiful Forevers  is narrative nonfiction at its best. A sobering look at life in a Mumbai slum, it's an important book, but at times devastatingly sad and difficult to read.

So, now what? Last night I read the first chapter of several novels I would expect to enjoy under normal circumstances but, in light of these recent reads, they seemed trite and uninteresting. In the end, I turned on the television instead.

Later, I had trouble falling asleep and decided to listen to an audiobook. Scrolling through the titles in my library, I came across Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner (possibly my favorite novel) and listened to a couple of chapters. Perfection! I'm long overdue for a reread, but it's going to be a read/listen combination this time around. Thank you, Wallace Stegner... my bookish hangover is cured.

P.S. I plan to review both Stoner  and Behind the Beautiful Forevers soon.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Good House by Ann Leary (audio)

The Good House
by Ann Leary
narrated by Mary Beth Hurt
Macmillan Audio, 2013
10 hours and 12 minutes
source: borrowed from the library

Summary (from goodreads):

Ann Leary's The Good House  tells the story of Hildy Good, who lives in a small town on Boston’s North Shore. Hildy is a successful real-estate broker, good neighbor, mother, and grandmother. She’s also a raging alcoholic. Hildy’s family held an intervention for her about a year before this story takes place—“if they invite you over for dinner, and it’s not a major holiday,” she advises “run for your life” — and now she feels lonely and unjustly persecuted. She has also fooled herself into thinking that moderation is the key to her drinking problem.

As if battling her demons wasn’t enough to keep her busy, Hildy soon finds herself embroiled in the underbelly of her New England town, a craggy little place that harbors secrets. There’s a scandal, some mysticism, babies, old houses, drinking, and desire—and a love story between two craggy sixty-somethings that's as real and sexy as you get. An exceptional novel that is at turns hilarious and sobering, The Good House asks the question: What will it take to keep Hildy Good from drinking? For good.

Brief thoughts:
There is so much I loved about The Good House, it's hard to know where to begin. But I'll try...

  • the main character:  Hildy Good is a 60-ish, alcoholic real estate agent who knows everybody and everything in town. She is both believable and heart-breaking in her justification for "just one little sip" of wine.
  • the setting:  Hildy's small town on Boston's North Shore is eerily similar to my little village in central New York... waterfront properties, horse farms, even the shenanigans are the same.
  • the plot:  In The Good House,  I recognized my town, my friends, my neighbors, our joys, fears, and our interconnected lives.

A note on the audio production:
When I first heard Hildy speak I wasn't so sure, but it took just moments to realize that Mary Beth Hurt was Hildy Good. I just don't know how else to say it. This story is told in the first person, and I can't even imagine another voice for Hildy. The Good House  is easily one of my favorite audiobooks of the year, and quite possibly one of my favorite narrations ever.

My rating:

Bottom line:
The Good House  will surely be a 2013 audio favorite... and I can't wait for the upcoming movie starring Meryl Streep and Robert DeNiro.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sunday Sentence: Behind the Beautiful Forevers

Sunday Sentence highlights the best sentence(s) I've read this past week, out of context and without commentary.

"Sunil thought that he, too, had a life. A bad life, certainly - the kind that could be ended as Kalu's had been and then forgotten, because it made no difference to the people who lived in the overcity. But something he'd come to realize on the roof, leaning out, thinking about what would happen if he leaned too far, was that a boy's life could still matter to himself."
Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity
by Katherine Boo
Random House, 2012

Friday, October 11, 2013

The Ivy Tree by Mary Stewart

The Ivy Tree
by Mary Stewart
Chicago Review Press, Rediscovered Classics, 2007
(originally published in 1961)
224 pages
source: borrowed from the library

Anbolyn's Mary Stewart Reading Week
R.I.P. VIII challenge

Plot description (from goodreads):
If Mary Grey looked so much like the missing heiress, why should she not be an heiress? And so plain Mary Grey became the glamorous Annabel Winslow. But she did not live happily ever after. In fact, she almost did not live at all. Because someone wanted Annabel missing . . . permanently.

Brief thoughts:
A missing heiresses, impersonation, attempted murder, romance, and an irresistible Northumberland setting combine for a memorable introduction to the world of Mary Stewart. I didn't love this one, but it was still a perfect R.I.P. read - more than a cozy mystery, but no real violence or gore.

Although I didn't finish during Mary Stewart Reading Week, I'd like to thank Anbolyn for hosting the event and motivating me to finally try this author. My next Mary Stewart novel will probably be Nine Coaches Waiting.

My rating:

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver

Flight Behavior
by Barbara Kingsolver
HarperCollins, 2012
448 pages
source: purchased e-book

Summary (from amazon):
Flight Behavior  is a brilliant and suspenseful novel set in present day Appalachia; a breathtaking parable of catastrophe and denial that explores how the complexities we inevitably encounter in life lead us to believe in our particular chosen truths. Kingsolver's riveting story concerns a young wife and mother on a failing farm in rural Tennessee who experiences something she cannot explain, and how her discovery energizes various competing factions—religious leaders, climate scientists, environmentalists, politicians—trapping her in the center of the conflict and ultimately opening up her world.

My thoughts:

I was a little apprehensive when Flight Behavior  was chosen as a recent book club selection. I've long been a fan of Barbara Kingsolver's writing, but not necessarily her novels... if that make any sense. Years ago when we discussed The Poisonwood Bible, I wasn't able to muster much enthusiasm, though one member found it "life changing". The same held true for my experience with Animal Dreams and Pigs in Heaven. Prodigal Summer, despite being a little preachy, was an exception.  I loved it.

As it turned out, reading Flight Behavior  was a pleasure. The story is engaging and timely, and Dellarobia Turnbow is a wonderfully sympathetic character. Her husband, in-laws, best friend, children, a visiting scientist accompanied by a pack of college students, and a minister are among the wide array of supporting characters populating this novel. The rural Tennessee community is buzzing with activity -  from migrating monarch butterflies and concerns of global warming, to marital and family tensions, religion and Christian values, and the business of raising sheep for wool production. And while it may have gotten a little long in the middle, I enjoyed every moment.

Favorite Quotes:
"He'd said good night as if they were friends parting ways, then rolled to his side and slept the sleep of a mountain range while she stared at the black air, dividing the river of her desperation into rivulets until some of them seemed navigable."  
"Despite the biological treachery of this snow, its beauty moved her. Even a field of mud and sheep droppings could be rewritten as a clean slate." 
"With the sense of a great weight settling, she recognized marriage. Not the precarious risk she'd balanced for years against forbidden fruits, something easily lost in a brittle moment by flying away or jumping a train to ride off on someone else's steam. She was not about to lose it. She'd never had it."
Bottom line:
Flight Behavior is my new favorite Kingsolver novel.

My rating:

Monday, October 7, 2013

Monday Reading Notes

... since I didn't have time for a Sunday Salon.

Last week was unusual, at least as far as reading goes. I picked up three different newish books, read less than fifty pages, and set them aside. I couldn't seem to commit to anything and decided I just wasn't in the mood for contemporary fiction... strange. Finally, I pulled Stoner by John Williams from my shelf. It seems to be a quiet, introspective book with gorgeous writing and, so far, I love it.

I'm also still reading Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo for my book club.

Things were much better on the audio front, due in part to beautiful fall weather and longer morning walks.  First, I finished Wheat Belly by William Davis and posted my thoughts on Saturday.

Then, due to slow reading progress, I downloaded the audio edition of Behind the Beautiful Forevers and made it a read/listen combination. I've reached the halfway mark now, so it seems to have been worth it... though I must admit I'm not loving the book as much as I'd expected. We'll see how the second half goes.

Yesterday, with six hours of uninterrupted listening time driving to and from The Mount  (Edith Wharton's home in Lenox, MA), I started The Patriarch: The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy by David Nasaw. With 25 hours still left, this definitely qualifies as a long-term commitment.

Oh, the reason behind that visit to The Mount? Audrey and I met to discuss our shared read of The Age of Innocence and tour the house and gardens... but that deserves its own post!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Sunday Sentence: Stoner by John Williams

Sunday Sentence highlights the best sentence(s) I've read this past week, out of context and without commentary.

"Sometimes, immersed in his books, there would come to him the awareness of all that he did not know, of all that he had not read; and the serenity for which he labored was shattered as he realized the little time in life he had to read so much, to learn what he had to know."
by John Williams
page 26

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Wheat Belly by William Davis (audio)

Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health
by William Davis
narrated by Tom Weiner
Blackstone Audio, 2011
7 hours and 37 minutes
source: purchased

Motivation: Audible daily deal. How can you go wrong for $2.95?

One line summary (from publisher):
A provocative look at how eliminating wheat from our diets can help us lose weight, shrink unsightly bulges, and reverse a broad spectrum of health problems—from acne to diabetes to serious digestive disorders.

My thoughts:

Dr. Davis may be prone to hyperbole in stating that wheat products should carry health warnings similar to a pack of cigarettes, but he makes a lot of sense when talking about wheat's roller coaster effect on blood sugar, hunger, and food cravings. He asserts that "healthy" whole-grain breads, bagels, etc.  have virtually the same effect on our blood sugar levels (by virtue of their glycemic index) as a Snickers bar. We eat them, our blood sugar spikes, then falls, leaving us hungry and craving more in just a few hours. He claims that, in many cases, this  vicious cycle is responsible for weight gain, especially around our middles, and thwarts our best weight loss efforts. Additionally, the wheat we eat today bears little resemblance to what our ancestors consumed.

For those with Celiac disease, eliminating gluten is essential, but it seems even people without true gluten intolerance can reap significant health benefits from eliminating or drastically curtailing wheat intake. Davis cites various scientific studies, but also relays anecdotal results from his own personal experience and from patients seen in his office.

After just a few days of nearly complete wheat elimination, I am noticeably less hungry between meals. Perhaps it's the power of suggestion, or maybe it's purely coincidental, but I'm impressed. I'm also sleeping much more soundly. We'll see...

Although I was neutral on the audio production, I feel Wheat Belly  was well worth the time and money, and it provides plenty of food for thought.

My rating:

Weekend Cooking, hosted at Beth Fish Reads, is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Tuesday Intro: The Innocents by Francesca Segal

Adam had, for the occasion, bought a new suit. He had wavered between dandyish black, chalk-striped and double-breasted, and a more traditional two-button jacket in deep  navy wool. After some consideration he had chosen the navy. It seemed a more appropriate suit for a man who was newly engaged.
The Innocents
by Francesca Segal

OK, so I'm a little Edith Wharton obsessed this week. After finishing The Age of Innocence  and watching the movie over the weekend, I can't seem to let the story go. The Innocents, inspired by Wharton's masterpiece, is set in a "small, tight-knit Jewish suburb of London".  Audrey and Jane both enjoyed it and it sounded wonderful to me, too, but I  wanted wait until after I'd read  The Age of Innocence. Yesterday, I found it at the library.

What do you think of the opening? Would you keep reading?

I also added my name to the hold list for The Age of Desire by Jennie Fields, a new novel about Wharton's life. Thanks for telling me about this one, Rita!

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.


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