"Moll Flanders"

Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe

I read this one on my Kobo and there were lots of typos but compared to that disastrous Gutenberg version of One of Ours I read a few weeks ago, it was great. It's a title I've had on my "to read" list for years and years but I've put it off because for some reason I didn't think it would be all that interesting. I don't know where I got that idea, but one night I was in need of something to read without turning on a light, and Moll Flanders was already loaded on the Kobo, so it was that or nothing. I was a nice surprise to find I had a hard time putting it down.

I wouldn't say it's a great book, but it is quite a story. Moll Flanders had several husbands over her lifetime, with no divorces. Hmmm. She lived in luxury at times, and in poverty other times. She got away with criminal activity for a long time, but finally got caught and spent time in Newgate awaiting her execution. How she got out of that one is another intriguing story.

A few times I found the language a bit of a chore to wade through, and some of it was more detailed than I thought was absolutely necessary, but on the whole it made for some interesting reading and I'm glad I finally made the effort.

I'm getting more reading done now than I was when Mum first went into the hospital, but I'm not putting a lot of energy into evaluating what I read, so I'm afraid my reviews are both short and shallow. I think anyone looking for opinions on a particular book might still find something helpful in them so I'll continue as is for awhile; hopefully the day will come when I'll have the time and energy to do more. Mum is doing fairly well, all things considered, but she has great difficulty walking and is exhausted all the time. Things change daily. Some days she can carry on a conversation and some days it's all she can do to say a word or two. She'll be moved from the unit she's in to geriatric rehab when a bed is available there. They'll try to get her more mobile, but at 89, with both heart and kidney failure and things changing from day to day, that's an iffy proposition. It's a wait and see what happens situation, as it has been since she first was admitted in February. For the millionth time in my life, I'm really grateful for books and the distraction, escape and relaxation they provide. What would any of us do without them?

Easter, "One of Ours" and an update on other things.

Mum was home for 10 days and is back in the hospital again, this time with an infection. She's weak and exhausted from these constant hospital trips. But tomorrow is Easter, (technically it is now at 1:44 pm.) so we'll take her some flowers and try to brighten her day as best we can.

I finished "One Of Ours" by Willa Cather and found it quite good. I'm a fan of Cather's writing. I find it articulate, down to earth, and easy to read. She tells a good story and makes her settings come alive. This book follows a young man named Claude through his coming-of-age years on his family farm, his education and romances, his dis-satisfaction with his life, and his eventual enlistment and participation in the First World War. Here he found his real purpose in life and could become the man he'd always wanted to be. I recommend the book because of the great writing and good story.

I wish each of you a blessed Easter. This is the most important day in the Christian calendar, a day that gives us reason to celebrate in spite of whatever else is going on, because it's the day that reminds us we are not alone and we shall never be alone again. There is a God who cares about us, and who has made a way for us to relate to Him in a personal way. He's not waiting for us to be perfect, He's just waiting for us to reach out to Him no matter where we are in life, no matter what we've done or neglected to do. Because of Him, we have hope in the darkest of circumstances and peace that doesn't depend on what is happening around us. If you have questions about any of this please feel free to email me at mcfadden(dot)dianne1(at)gmail(dot)com and I would be honoured to try to help you find the answers

Happy Easter! He is Risen!

"The Enchanted April", "Excellent Women", and other stuff.

Mum was discharged from the hospital four days ago. We were all rather alarmed but she is happy to be home. Things are very much still a day by day situation and her health is quite precarious; she's far weaker than she was before she was admitted. Hopefully she'll be able to enjoy some time at home before the next situation arises. The view from her window is at least more spring-like than it has been for months. We've had a long, miserable winter, but today the sun is shining and I can hear chunks of ice falling off the bank into the river. That splash is one of the most beautiful sounds of the year.

Once the emergency was over and things settled down in the hospital I was able to pass some time by reading. I didn't have the mental energy to put a lot of thought into the books I was reading, but it was quite refreshing to read stories and not think about themes, structure, character development, etc. I simply read and enjoyed the reading. It took me back to my younger days when I would hungrily devour book after book without thinking much about them at all.

  One of the books I read was Excellent Women by Barbara Pym. I loved it! The main character is Winnifred Lathbury, a single woman living in post-war London. The story is about her life - her friends, neighbours, church, job - all the ordinary things in a woman's life. The lovely writing, the dialogue, the detail, and the wit all made it a very entertaining book to read, exactly what I was looking for. I'm looking forward to more Barbara Pym.  

The other book I read was The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim. I saw the movie a few years ago and loved it, but many bloggers recommended the book over the movie so I've been intending to read it for a long time. I did enjoy it, but not as much as I expected to. I liked the characters and the location was fabulous. Who wouldn't want to spend April in an Italian castle? The descriptions of the grounds, the flowers, the sunsets, and the views made me think about starting a "Going To Italy" fund right away. The story was good, but I found it a little slow going at times. That's my only complaint and it's not much of one. It won't keep me from searching out more of Elizabeth von Arnim's books. I've read great things about "Elizabeth and Her German Garden".

I finally finished the Einstein biography as well but I'll leave that for another post.