The Battle of the Villa Fiorita by Rumer Godden (1963)

The Battle of the Villa Fiorita written by Rumer Godden (1907-1998) is partly autobiographical. When her first marriage ended in divorce and she later remarried, there were difficulties between her two daughters and her second husband. This situation was fictionalised in The Battle of the Villa Fiorita. In this book, the two children of Fanny … Continue reading The Battle of the Villa Fiorita by Rumer Godden (1963)

Father by Elizabeth von Arnim

Jennifer Dodge made a promise to her dying mother that she wouldn’t leave home but would stay and take care of her father. Twelve years later, after a life of dutiful drudgery to her aloof and unapproachable parent, her father announces his marriage to a woman more than ten years younger than his daughter.Jen seizes … Continue reading Father by Elizabeth von Arnim

Love by Elizabeth von Arnim (1925)

This is only the second novel I’ve read by Elizabeth von Arnim, but along with Edith Wharton, she has shot up on my reading radar. Both authors have gotten under my skin with their beautiful literary writing and their sensitive treatment of women’s issues and sometimes difficult themes.In the context of the times in which … Continue reading Love by Elizabeth von Arnim (1925)

Rilla of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery

Rilla of Ingleside was published in 1921 and is the eighth book in the Anne Series which began with Anne of Green Gables in 1908.Rilla is Anne’s youngest daughter and the story begins just prior or the start of WWI when Rilla is fifteen years of age.The tone of this book is more sombre than … Continue reading Rilla of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery

Grief and Loss

27th January 2020My mother died at six-thirty this morning. 'Died' sounds so harsh but something in me resists the 'passed away' or 'passed' terms. I always feel that they're terms of avoidance that have taken over our expression of this common destiny we all eventually experience. But forgive me if you find that offensive. I'm … Continue reading Grief and Loss

'A gauntlet with a gift in 't.'

  ‘God answers sharp and sudden on some prayers,  And thrusts the thing we have prayed for in our face,  A gauntlet with a gift in 't.’       Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861)     I think we’d all agree that we are in challenging times. I remembered this poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning the … Continue reading 'A gauntlet with a gift in 't.'