Saturday, 21 February 2009

Reading under the bedspread

New bedspread is now made and on the bed it was destined for.

Recent reading has been fairly random, some book club reads, some just following my own interests.

Book group reads have included Sadie Jones 'Outcast' a story set in the 1950's., and is a tale of loss, of love and growing up in suburban Surrey in the post-war years. There are boken families, broken and damaged people and yet the possibility of happiness at the end. The main character, Lewis, is described on his release from prison and returning home. We next read of his childhood, of his father's returning from the war and settling back into normal life. Lewis loses his mother in a drowning accident, but is unable to talk about it to his father. His father re-marries and Lewis is sent away to school. The build -up of unresolved tensions of love and loss - Lewis's increasing desperation, his self-harm and drinking, his relationship with the various members of the Carmichael family, near neighbours and work colleague of his father, all are beautifully and gently but clearly described. Lewis's friendship with the younger Carmichael daughter may be the hopeful end to the story.
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, by Winifred Watson, first published in 1938 and re-published by Persephone Books was a delightful and quick read for me. The story of a poor, dowdy and underpaid governess who is wrongly directed to an actress's apartment for a job. She is immediately drawn into Miss LaFosse's glamourous life, and acts as friend, chaperone, replacement mother,as well as undergoing a complete transformation during the day. All ends well, and Miss Pettigrew finds herself more happily settled that she could have hoped for.

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