I have got one of those annoying colds that just goes on and on with days when I think I am getting better followed by relapses when I don’t want to do anything but loll around and read something undemanding. So what did I read? This Xmas my brother gave me one of his own books that I have long coveted: the Black Box edition of Fredric Brown thrillers containing Night of the Jabberwock, The Screaming Mimi, Knock Three-One-Two, and The Fabulous Clipjoint. No new book could have pleased me more. I was thrilled when I unwrapped it, and promptly reread them all.
More sickbed reading included a writer new to me: Lissa Evans’s Their Finest Hour and a Half, a novel set in WWII and organised around the making of a feature film about the evacuation from Dunkirk. I loved this – learned a lot about film-making, too. I especially enjoyed this: when Arthur proposes to thirty-six year old Edith on their first date, she immediately says yes, much to the surprise of both of them: her reply had ‘been preceded on her part by a series of very rapid and rational thoughts – he has just proposed, he seems sincere, he is not hideous, he has a good job in civilian life, he owns a house, he is very likely the only person who will ever ask for my hand in marriage . . . oh, and won’t it just knock Verna [her cousin] for six – and it had been the last and most most venial of these had triggered her answer.’ After this I was longing to know how their marriage would turn out. A lovely novel: funny, touching, full of fascinating period detail: perfect reading when feeling under the weather. One tiny reservation: in 1940 would someone have talked about ‘letting their charlady go?’ Wouldn’t they just give them the sack? It is so hard to get absolutely everything right. I enjoyed this hugely and thanks to Moira at ClothesinBooks.com for recommending it.
I’ll end, dear friends and fellow bloggers, by wishing you a happy New Year with lots of rewarding reading.