This Sunday, January 18, viewers in the US can watch part one of a new Masterpiece Theater adaption of Wuthering Heights. I had the honor of previewing this production, and you can see my review on the PBS Remotely Connected website. To coincide with this premiere, we’re offering a new ebook collection to our ebook store. It is The Bront Continue reading .
Anyone who is a fan of Daphne Du Maurier’s novel, Rebecca would benefit from reading Rebecca’s Tale. Published in 2007, it is one of the best non-author written sequels I have read to date. The most interesting facet of this novel is that Ms. Beauman tells the story from four different points of view: Arthur Julyan, the confidante who fell in love with Rebecca; the orphan, Terence Gray, looking for answers as to his parentage and to his relationship to Rebecca; Ellie Julyan, Arthur’s overly protective daughter; and finally Rebecca herself. Continue reading .
In the fourth of the Anne of Green Gables series, our heroine Anne Shirley has graduated university and gained a position as principal of Summerside High School. Anne’s on her own. She has to make new friends in a new town. Not much of a problem for Anne, you might think, but she finds herself in hostile territory. Told mostly through letters to Gilbert, the book’s full of Anne’s peppy optimism. Anne vows to find the good in everyone, making the reader think that even the most surly curmudgeon has a warm, fuzzy side. Montgomery’s pen is sharp, but there’s love in her writing. Continue reading .
First published in 1922, The Enchanted April was a best-seller in both England and the United States. The plot centers around four women, all strangers, who escape the dismal British weather for a month-long retreat at San Salvatore, an Italian villa. Once there, the company of the other women along with the “wisteria and sunshine” bring each character to realize then overcome a central flaw in her life. Lotty has her nervous tendencies; Rose always puts her religious obligations before everything else; Mrs Fisher can’t reconcile her contemporary life with the past she so idolizes; and the beautiful Lady Caroline can’t figure out why everyone around her is so dreadfully dull. Continue reading .
Ethan Frome is the story of a doomed love triangle between a man, his wife and their housekeeper. Given the social conventions of the time, Ethan feels he must stay, trapped in a loveless marriage, rather than pursue his true feelings. Supposedly, the most auto-biographical of all Wharton’s novels, her main character is a man torn between duty and love with disastrous results. He is a truly sympathetic character even though his choices are always wrong. Is this his fault or that of fate? Continue reading .
Our first offering in the ebook store is The Complete Works of Jane Austen. You can enjoy the convenience of all Jane Austen’s writing in one ebook file. It contains all of her major works: Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, Northanger Abbey, and Persuasion; Minor and unfinished works: Sanditon, The Watsons, and Lady Susan; and Juvenilia: Frederic & Elfrida, Love and Freindship, Lesley Castle, The History of England, A Collection of Letters, Scraps. Continue reading .
One of the beauties of reading well-seasoned literature is that we modern women forget what life was like for women a hundred or more years ago. How easily we forget that having the liberty to choose one’s own activities is a relatively recent phenomenon for women. For Elizabeth, an upper class woman who was not enchanted by cooking and sewing, her passions for such “wasteful” activities as reading books and garden planning could only be fulfilled because of an indulgent husband, but even then, only then with ever-present feelings of guilt. Continue reading .
To Kill a Mockingbird is a modern American Classic and winner of a Pulitzer prize. With an upfront and direct personality and the innocence that is characteristic of children, Scout introduces us to Maycomb with all its qualities, injustices and idiosyncrasies. In her narrative, Scout is not always aware of the many layers of complications existing in the facts she describes, her innocence makes her somewhat naïve, but the incongruence and unfairness of the situation are not lost on the reader. Continue reading .
The First Sir Percy could be called The Laughing Cavalier, Part II because it takes up where the previous book leaves off in the highly addictive Scarlet Pimpernel series. The story teeters on the brink of disaster, as again, we wonder just who can we trust, and how in the devil is Diogenes going to get out of this trap, and again, should he? If you have read The Laughing Cavalier, don’t stop there. After all, you’ve already learned the Dutch, you know the characters, so you can sit back, relax, and enjoy The First Sir Percy. Continue reading .
The first of two prequels to The Scarlet Pimpernel, The Laughing Cavalier is set in Holland in 1623. It tells the story of Percy Blake, a foreign adventurer and ancestor of the Scarlet Pimpernel who goes by the name Diogenes. Unlike The Scarlet Pimpernel, Diogenes has not yet established himself as a man of sterling character or irreproachable moral integrity. Some of the fun of The Laughing Cavalier is that one is uncertain whether he will wind up in jail or on the scaffold, and whether he just might deserve such a fate. Continue reading .