Thursday, July 23, 2009

Next Up


Above: Elizabeth Jane Howard

It's been a strange week's reading: a jumble of historical novels, fairy tales, a fantasy, a thriller, and a mystery.

Now, back to normal. I just received two English novels from Amazon UK, A. S. Byatt's The Children's Book (because after Possession no contemporary fiction seemed good enough) and Elizabeth Jane Howard's Love All. Thank you, Amazon UK, for the recommendation of Love All, because I didn't know Howard had a new book (2008). I've read and loved all of her fiction, especially The Cazalet Chronicles, a well-written, fascinating four-book family saga that cured me of serious trauma after a hospitalization. Really. Litterae vincunt omnia, i.e. literature conquers all. (Muriel Spark also helped me along.)

Howard's new novel Love All is set in the late '60s (a fascinating time for a novel). According to the jacket, it's the story of "Persephone Plover, the Anglo-Greek daughter of distant, neglectful and constantly absent parents...her aunt, Florence, a garden designer..., and Jack Curtis, a self-made millionaire" who wants to start an arts festival to cope with the loneliness of divorce.

I've also got a couple of contemporary American novels coming up: The Servant's Quarters by Lynn Freed and A Mercy by Toni Morrison.

So it's back to women's fiction. A very different line-up from last summer's Viragos and Persephones.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you! I, too, loved the Cazelet novels. And Howard's other works, too. It's great to come across somebody else who has read them.
I love your blog.

Mad Housewife said...

I absolutely loved Love All and am about to post on it! Howard is so good.

Thanks for stopping by.

Danielle said...

I loved the Cazalet Chronicles, too, and started rereading them last year. I've only gotten through the first book (and was then distracted), but I plan on rereading the rest. I'm curious about her newest book--are you enjoying it? And I'm reading the Byatt now, too! :)

MAD HOUSEWIFE said...

Danielle, I really enjoyed Love All. The Cazalet Chronicles are my favorite, but I also enjoyed her earlier novels. I'd love to reread the Cazalet Chronicles.

I can't wait to start The Children's Book, but like you, I read a lot more or less simultaneously (if that's possible?) and it will probably take a while.