"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.


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