I was so caught up with telling you about the ballerina book last time, that I forgot to mention how my Elizabeth Strout reading was coming. Would you believe that I had actually read Abide with Me as well? Not only Amy and Isabelle, which I had remembered loving,
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This is one of those strange Paris-soaked stories that I imagine Mavis Gallant writing on an afternoon in a café when she has had too many cups of espresso. When she is in that creative mode where every gesture seen, every syllable overheard, every small intimacy observed between strangers
Earlier this summer, in June, I maxed out my library card. The box which usually holds my borrowed books was so full that it was bookish-Jenga to remove one (and forget trying to add one). A neighbouring table was also commandeered. Even, for a time, the floor space between
Don’t be fooled: it’s still about Magdalena. Except she is called Lena by the “half a dozen widows of generals and bereft sisters of bachelor diplomats”. They “crowd her bedside table” – Magdalena’s/ Lena’s bedside table – with “bottles of cough mixture, lemons, embroidered table napkins, jars of honey,
Eventually, as you know, the Ann Cleeves mystery moved away from ground-cover plants and birds, into politics and environmental conservation efforts. I’m still not entirely sure about the title, but the mere idea of The Crow Trap reminds me of Minette Walters’ The Scold’s Bridle (I understand she’s still