Blood Feud by Rosemary Sutcliff (1976)

Rosemary Sutcliff is considered to be one of the finest writers of historical novels for children but her writing is appealing for adult readers as well. As she herself said, “I write for children aged 8 to 88.” This ability to appeal to a wide age range is obvious in Blood Feud. I was listening … Continue reading Blood Feud by Rosemary Sutcliff (1976)

Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens

Barnaby Rudge was published in 1841 and was Charles Dickens’ first historical novel. It is his least read book, which surprised me as the story is very interesting. It is based on a real historical event and includes a murder mystery, a talking raven, two romantic dramas, as well as being a social commentary on … Continue reading Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens

John Macnab by John Buchan (1925)

Two distinguished highflyers had separately been to see Dr. Acton Croke. Both were suffering from a common ailment - they had all grown too competent and comfortable and their doctor had given them both the same diagnosis and suggested treatment: “You’ve got to rediscover the comforts of your life by losing them for a little…You … Continue reading John Macnab by John Buchan (1925)

Doing Justice to the Characters of Others

I remembered this conversation between Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice as I was re-reading Book 1 of Ourselves, the book we’re discussing in our monthly Charlotte Mason book club on Zoom: “Your examination of Mr. Darcy is over, I presume,” said Miss Bingley; “and pray what is the result?” “I am … Continue reading Doing Justice to the Characters of Others

Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton (1908)

Orthodoxy is Gilbert Keith Chesterton’s ((1874 -1936) spiritual biography. His purpose in writing this book was to ‘attempt an explanation, not of whether the Christian Faith can be believed, but of how he personally has come to believe it.’ It was not meant to be an ecclesiastical discourse but a ‘slovenly autobiography.’ For me, Orthodoxy … Continue reading Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton (1908)

An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro (1986)

In the 2016 introduction to the thirtieth anniversary edition of An Artist of the Floating World, the author wrote: ‘This novel is set in Japan before and after the Second World War, but it was very much shaped by the Britain in which I was then living: the pressure on people in every walk of … Continue reading An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro (1986)