Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Where is Your Bookmark? (07/03/2013)

The proverbial "they" say that bad things come in threes.  Death being one of them.  I'm not a particularly superstitious person, but it does seem to be true in my life lately.  In May, I said goodbye to my beloved Riley.  This past month it was my husband's grandmother.  Yesterday it was a coworker.  I have worked in my current office for 8 years now, many of the people working then are the same ones I see at the office still today.  We are close knit and have seen each other through ups and downs.  Our job can be pretty stressful, so it's only natural really.  Sera was one of the people who always had a smile on her face and a hug at the ready.  She was struck by a progressive strain of cancer earlier this year and yesterday she lost the battle.  The mood in the office will be somber, no doubt.  Our hearts are aching.  She was surrounded by family when she died, and for that I am grateful.

The holiday weekend is fast approaching, and along with it my vacation.  While I would have loved to do some traveling this year and take Mouse on her first real vacation, alas, it is not in the cards for us.  Hopefully we will be able to have some fun day trips mixed in among leisurely days at  home or the park.  I am also hoping the temperatures cool down just a tad.

This past weekend was an eventful one.  We drove up to Central California (where it was hot, hot, hot!) to visit my in-laws and attend Grandma Arnold's memorial service.  It was a beautiful service.  She was much loved and respected and definitely will be missed.  Something I only learned about her in recent weeks was that she took a job during World War II repairing autopilots and bombsights.  When she started, she earned 97 cents an hour.  When she left the job, she was making $1.04.  Imagine that.

It seems fitting then that my reading lately has taken me back to World War II.  Over the weekend I read Simon Van Booy's The Illusion of Separateness for an upcoming tour, and now I am reading The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton.



What are you reading right now?



Every Tuesday Diane from Bibliophile By the Sea hosts 
First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, where  
participants share the first paragraph (or a few) of a 
book they are reading or thinking about reading soon.

I have yet to read a Kate Morton novel, although I have heard such wonderful things about her books.  The Secret Keeper is my first.  I have only just begun reading, so am not too far in yet.  I can tell right from the start it would be quite different from Simon Van Booy's book in which the author's prose is sparse.  This introduction doesn't offer much in the way of what to expect from the book but it does give the reader a glimpse at the opening setting.


Rural England, a farmhouse in the middle of nowhere, a summer's day at the start of the 1960's.  The house is unassuming; half-timbered, with white paint peeling gently on the eastern side and clematis scrambling up the plaster.  The chimney pots are steaming, and you know, just by looking, that there's something tasty simmering on the stove top beneath.  It's something in the way the vegetable patch has been laid out, just so, at the back of the house, the proud gleam of the leadlight windows, the careful patching of the roofing tiles.
A rustic fence hems the house, and a wooden gate separates the tame garden from the meadows on either side, the copse beyond.  Through the knotted trees a stream trickles lightly over stones, flitting between sunlight and shadow as it has done for centuries, but it can't be heard from here.  It's too far away.  The house is quite alone, sitting at the end of a long, dusty driveway, invisible from the country lane whose name it shares.
Would you keep reading?


© 2013, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

16 comments:

  1. Sorry to hear about your co-worker. I can imagine how hard these months have been for you. Glad you've been having some good days out and your vacation is soon :) I would probably keep reading because I've read The House At Riverton and liked it enough to give Morton another go.

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    1. Charlie - Thank you.

      Today is my last day at work for the next week and a half. I am completely and utterly ready for the time off.

      Delete
  2. So sorry to hear about your coworker. :(

    I hope you have a nice holiday weekend, even if you aren't traveling. My little town puts on a fantastic day of events on the 4th and I'm really looking forward to it.

    I just started The Translator by Nina Schuyler this morning. It's gotten some rave reviews so I'm eager to really dig in.

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    1. Jennifer - Thank you. She was only 45. :-(

      I hope you have a good holiday weekend too! I love small town 4th of July celebrations! We don't have that here, although there are some minor events throughout town. Not sure yet what, if anything, we'll be doing tomorrow.

      I'll watch for your thoughts on The Translator. I hope you enjoy it!

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  3. So sorry to hear about your recent losses. I always think of it as a comfort that friends have been surrounded by loved ones at their end.

    Would I keep reading?

    Hmm, probably. One of those books I think I'd have to be in the right kind of mood to pick up, it sounds like it could be a bit too cosy for my liking.

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    1. Tracy - Thank you. It is a comfort to know that a person was surrounded by love in their last moments. Today at work has been difficult on one hand, but on the other, it's good that those of us who worked with her have each other to lean on--and can share happy memories together.

      The intro does have a cozy feel to it, doesn't it? I'm a little farther in now and quite taken with the story.

      Delete
  4. I'm so sorry for all your losses. Hopefully you'll get some good news soon.

    It sounds like your husband's grandmother actually made pretty good money back then. My first job paid $1.10 an hour.

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    1. Kathy - Thank you, Kathy. I really could use some good news . . . I find it so interesting to see how salaries have changed over the years.

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  5. I'm sorry for your losses. I hope things pick up for you. I've read the Secret Keeper and enjoyed it. So, I would keep reading.

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    1. Pat - Thank you. I'm enjoying the book. I got distracted from it (such a big book to take on vacation, so I took my Kindle instead), but hope to return to it soon.

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  6. Oh Wendy so sorry about your coworker -- now --how sad.

    I like the intro your chose and this book is one that I have been meaning to read (I say that a lot nut it is true)...LOL

    Your daughter is adorable and what I would give to be floating in that pool today:) Happy 4th

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    1. Diane - It was really sad. Her family put together a beautiful service for her. She was very well liked and loved.

      I wouldn't mind being back in that pool, floating and having fun. :-) Mouse is definitely a water baby!

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  7. I liked the first two of Morton's books, but I abandoned this one--maybe before giving it a decent chance.

    Love the pic of Mouse!

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    1. Jenclair - I set it aside for something lighter (both weight wise and reading wise), but I do want to get back to it soon.

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  8. Oh Wendy, that's awful about your co-worker. It sounds like you are definitely ready for your vacation. Relax and enjoy your time with your family!

    Mouse is just too cute! Oh and I hope you enjoy the Kate Morton book. I've read one of hers and it was so good!

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    1. Iliana - My vacation was much needed! We had a wonderful time. I just wish it didn't end on such a bad note.

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