Thursday, December 10, 2009

Snowbound, At the Gym without Sneakers, and Christmas Gifts

15 Inches of Snow

The snowstorm dropped 15 inches of snow. The city came to a halt and even the buses didn't run. After a pleasant snowbound day, as neighbors gathered in the street digging out cars and running snowblowers, we slogged through knee-high drifts to the gym and trudged on the elliptical through half an episode of Desperate Housewives. It was rather eerie as we walked precariously in the street home through the twilight, jumping into drifts every time a car came. The snow plows didn't show up on our street till yesterday evening.

I walked to the gym again today but forgot my sneakers--a "sign" that I was meant to stay home and be snowbound like everybody else. My gear--parka with supernatural warming powers, waterproof boots, long underwear--took forever to put on and I felt quite cross.

Fortunately some of my Christmas gifts arrived today. Two out-of-print novels by Pamela Frankau --I've been hankering for these and have to thank Santa--and Elizabeth Peters's The Crocodile on the Sandbank and Alexander McCall Smith's At the Villa of Reduced Circumstances--thanks to another Santa for those!

One of the novels by Frankau is Over the Mountains, the third in the trilogy Clothes of a King's Son. I've been haunted by the characters in Slaves of the Lamp, the second in the trilogy. It ended so tragically: deaths affecting the protagonists, Thomas, Sarah, and Gerald Weston, who have grown up in a theatrical family (see Vol. I, Sing for Your Supper) to be writers, actors, and in the case of Thomas, sometimes a reluctant faith healer. According to the jacket copy, which has been cut and pasted into the front of Over the Mountains, it is set during World War II and focuses on Thomas, a psychic and unusually compassionate writer-illustrator, who, as a lieutenant and POW, keeps an "unwritten notebook" which is "the backbone of this poignant novel." His other family members, including Sarah, the sensitive writer whose husband died tragically, Gerald, the ambitious actor, and their possibly bisexual stepsister Rab, whom Thomas wants to marry, also play key roles.

Frankau's other novel is The Bridge, a 1945 novel which I look forward to reading.

The two mysteries were sent by my mentor, who has introduced me to Golden Age detective novels and now to some contemporary mysteries.


Ellen said...

We had light snow and it was very pretty. I'll send a photo separately. All melted now. All gifts bought too, but cards beginning to arrive.


Frisbee said...

The snowstorm has gone everywhere. It's VERY pretty the first day.