During my spare time, I spent quite a bit of time with Charlotte and Inspector Thomas Pitt that month, five years ago. Stepping back into Victorian England, I found comfort in the steady rhythm of Anne Perry's fictional world. Perry is an author who pays close attention to the minor details in her novels, trying to make them as accurate to the time period as possible. It was in that same way that she attacked the social issues of the day, which were interwoven with the mysteries. It was easy to get swept up in the series, and I ended up reading seven books back to back, the most I had ever read in order, one right after the other.
I also made a new friend, Thursday Next. The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde was unlike most of the other books I had read up until that point, and I was quite delighted after having read it.
A lighthearted novel filled with mystery, suspense, romance, and science fiction, this is a humorous tale of Special Operative Thursday Next (of the literary detection division) who is on the trail of a dangerous criminal, a man who has the ability to pull out characters from literature, risking the very stories booklovers have come to treasure. In a world where the debate of who wrote Shakespeare’s plays is a common argument and time travel is not impossible, Mr. Fforde introduces readers to colorful characters, both real and imagined. [excerpt from reading journal, May 2004]I rounded out May 2004 with another, very different sort of mystery, Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time:
Written from the perspective of an autistic 15 year old living in Swindon, England, the main character, Christopher sets out to investigate the murder of his neighbor's dog. However, this novel is about more than just solving a neighborhood crime. Mark Haddon weaves a complex tale about family, betrayal, trust, and courage, while allowing the reader into the mind of someone with autism. [excerpt from reading journal, May 2004]Mark Haddon took quite a chance in writing the novel the way he did. I appreciated the perspective from which this book was written, portraying the nuances of a teenage boy with autism.
Looking back over my reading five years ago this month, I just realized I spent the entire month in Great Britain. I am fairly certain I hadn't planned it that way.
My reading this month was much different not only in the types of books I read, but also in the settings. I took up residence in small town Pennsylvania, where a family's bonds were tested, hope faltered, and innocence was lost (Precious by Sandra Novack). As a British journalist, I traveled to a West African country scarred by civil war, a place where murder and secrets are well hidden (The Secret Keeper by Paul Harris). I shared in the grief and sadness of lost love, of a people persecuted because of their ethnicity, and that of family disappointments in Seattle, Washington during World War II (Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford). In San Francisco, my life was turned upside down when everything I thought I knew suddenly may not have been true at all; the death of a sister, a wrongful accusation, and the rewriting of a story (No One You Know by Michelle Richmond). And then there was the time I inherited a law practice in the beautiful and haunted Savannah, Georgia; only my clients turned out to be an unusual sort: they were ghosts; and I was to defend them in the Celestial Court (Defending Angels by Mary Stanton and Angel's Advocate by Mary Stanton).
Where did your reading take you this month?
June is looking promising in the book department and I cannot wait to share my thoughts about my reading with you. This week be on the look out for my interview with author Mary Stanton and my thoughts on two of her novels, Defending Angels and Angel's Advocate!
Week in Review:
Monday at the Movies: Burn After Reading
Review: No One You Know by Michelle Richmond
Guest Appearance: Michelle Richmond (There is still time to enter the giveaway!)
Friday Fun: Fill-Ins, Poll Results & Mailbag
Please join me in congratulating Book Lady on winning a copy of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford!