10 journalers for this copy...
13th April 2006
I suspect that at least half the nuances and references in this book have gone over my head, as I read too quickly to truly appreciate her excellent writing. However.
I liked this book. Though short, 123 pages, the characters were remarkably full and interesting and as in all little towns or communities there were several very irritating inhabitants as well as one or two who must be friends. The story is deceptively simple and provides a lot of insight into small town life - she could have been writing about my own small town as I recognised a lot of the characteristics and small-mindedness. The more I think about it, the more I like the book.
22nd April 06
On its way to Rainbowandrain - enjoy!
OK this is going on a journey!
How bizarre yesterday I took the notes off my bookshelf about this book thinking it was lost forever and then today I got a journal entry about it! How weird! So it is off on its travels again:)
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
Controlled release to ziggythecat, the first person on this ray.
Thanks Rainbowandrain for sharing it.
This is a gentle story, one of those where nothing much seems to happen but in reality a lot changes. I actually felt the book was far too short - it would have worked okay as a short story but I felt that I wanted to know more about the characters and 123 pages just wasn't satisfying enough. There were too many relationships that changed inexplicably and I wanted to know why - such as Christine's sudden about-turn from being Florence's noble assistant and friend to working elsewhere, and Milo's odd back-stabbing when I felt he was a friend, not foe. An odd little novel, not enough for me I'm afraid - but thanks for letting me read it.
I'll pass this on to BGM as soon as possible.
ps. starting reading this already :)
Set in the fictional Suffolk Coastal town of Hardborough, but with enough clues to place if quite accurately, both geographically and temperamental in this county that I love; and despite the rather sad ending, I’m sure Fitzgerald held a great affection for the funny (odd) people and the glorious countryside.
Some quotes from the, as always, clever spare prose from one of my favourite authors:
Suffolk understatement; “The word in Hardborough for ‘mad’ was ‘not quite right’, just as ‘very ill’ was ‘moderate’.”
The local plumber and man-of-works fixes the plumbing for Mrs. Green to move into the previously uninhabited ‘Old House’. “As soon as Sam Wilkins had fixed the bath to his own satisfaction.” - a deceptive slow but solid outlook on life and the pursuit of a craft which I recognise!
According to PF the majority of the late middle aged and upper middle-class become watercolourists, and paint landscapes, ‘All their pictures looked much the same. Framed, they hung in sitting rooms, while outside the windows the empty, washed-out, unarranged landscape stretched away to the transparent sky.’
Mrs. Gamart, the ‘patroness of all that was of value in Hardborough’, would like to have been fully accepted and counted as a friend and confidante by the reclusive old Mr. Brundish, ‘…since she had been [at the Stead] for only fifteen years and was not of Suffolk origin, her wishes had been in vain.’
Acquaintances approaching from a distance, ‘…because the land was so flat and the approach was slow, had to wave again as they drew nearer, reserving their smiles until the last moment.’
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
On its way to PurpleElephant...enjoy :)
I actually read it ages ago in a couple of days and really enjoyed it. I'm definitely a Penelope fitzgerald convert.
I contacted willowfae for an address but didn't hear back. Will try again and send it on its way.
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
Posted today. Sorry for delay.
Thanks to bookwormteacher to including me on this list. I am trying to contact Mmepotage so that I can send it on to her.
Trying to contact bluecat07..., if I don't succeed soon I will contact next person on list.
So before I sent this on, I re-read the book. it is a very short read, and full of the English humor that one expects. it is sharp, funny, and bittersweet. Ms. Fitzgerald is able to create the semi-closed environment of a small English fishing village as a herpetologist builds a terrarium, all in scant 120 pages.
Sending to accountkel tomorrow.
Looking forward to reading this. It's been a while since I particpated in one of these. I have ot finishe NAked Prey by Sandford and then I will get right on it!!
This was a tough one to get through.
It just wasn't my cup of tea.
None of the characters were likeable except for Florence.
The characters kind of remind me of a place my husband and I went several years ago. It is an island off the coast of Maine. We noticed how unfriendly the people on the island were. Maybe it's the hard living on the island that makes them this way. The appropriate word that comes to mind is "Cold"
Thank you for including me in this bookray.
I think I'm going to free release the book.