Books Wonderful Books!!!!

Man, I’m stoked! Pumped! Fit to burst!   I have just finished two exceedingly good novels and one chilling piece of historical fiction!  Reading three good books in a row is rare for me so I am bouncing off the walls with unconstrained glee! 🙂

The Good Mayor by Andrew Nicoll
is my first pick, and there is only one way to describe this book: DE-LI-CIOUS!!!  Yummy, Sumptuous, Mouthwatering!!!!  It’s basically a love story, or more accurately, a story of yearning.  The good mayor of Dot, Tibo Krovic, is desperately in love with his secretary of 20+ years, Mrs. Agathe Stopak, a voluptuous siren married to an uncaring, boorish paperhanger.  And dear Agathe, who resembles Velazquez’s Rokeby Venus, is totally oblivious to the longings of her kind boss.  Theirs is a relationship that is perfectly in sync, however.  He can read her mind and she his.  They finish each other’s sentences.

I love stories of falling in love with the unavailable.  Is there something Freudian in that?  Who knows?  But I love it.  The one you love is just out of reach and every day is expectant and full of hope, yet bittersweet and melancholy.  The good mayor is in love but he is honourable and he wants to do the right thing…which puts him in a bit of a pickle!  You laugh as you get a peek into how a man like that deals with his emotions of desire and regret, anger and longing.

The writing is seamless, flawless!!!!  My goodness, if I could only write like THAT!!!  Such a lightness of touch coupled with delectable humour…I laughed out loud and shivered with delight, and several times, at a particularly wonderful passage, I’d stop and hug the book and squiggle because it tasted soooo good!!!!  With place names like Dot, Dash, Umlaut, and Ampersand, how can you NOT want to delve into this charming love story with elements of fantasy and magic?  I want to read it all over again!!!

Book number two is a mystery thriller featuring an Italian count who is a master criminal, a dashingly brave but impoverished art instructor, and a feisty intelligent woman who risks life and limb for her beautiful younger half-sister who is deceived into marriage by a wealthy aristocrat!  It was written in 1860 and was one of the first blockbusters!!!!  One of the first mystery novels and an excellent example of 19th century sensation literature,  it is TA-DAAAAA, The Woman in White by William (Wilkie) Collins.  I’ll let Wikipedia give you the plot:

A poor art master, Walter Hartright, is employed to teach two young women in Cumberland, and falls in love with one of them, Laura. His feelings are returned, but she is already engaged to another. They are parted and she marries, but she and Marian, her resourceful half-sister, are then caught up in her new husband’s plot to steal her fortune and identity. Laura is stripped of her name and money, and almost of her sanity, but is rescued by Marian and protected by the faithful Hartright. He and Marian battle to expose the fraud and reclaim Laura’s identity, fortune and position in society. Throughout the story they encounter a mysterious woman in white, whose own sad story seems entangled with those of Laura and her husband, and who plays a crucial role in the novel’s main events.

This book was so finely written, the story so excellently told, that I could not put it down.  It also made me very tense and nervous.  🙂 When Marian perched on the roof of the house, under the pouring rain, trying her very best to be quiet and still, and keep her balance as she eavesdropped on the Count and the evil Baronet hatching plans of wicked intent, I just about screamed when my husband suddenly entered the room! 🙂

Book number three is The Heretic’s Daughter by Kathleen Kent. It’s a book about the Salem Witch Trials in 17th century Puritan America.  In it, she relates the story of her ancestor, Martha Carrier, who was  accused of being a witch  by people who were victims of her baldly honest speech and her somewhat scathing tongue, and who were vexed at her refusal to be intimidated, threatened or manipulated.  It’s told from the point of view of Martha’s daughter, Sarah, who was also imprisoned for being the daughter of a witch.

Remarkably, both The Good Mayor and The Heretic’s Daughter are debut novels.  What a wealth of talent!  What a FEAST!!!“>


4 thoughts on “Books Wonderful Books!!!!

  1. Hey, girl! I always love reading your book recommendations. I’ve wanted to read the Woman in White for forever — I just ordered it through Paperback Swap and wait-listed The Heretic’s Daughter. The Good Mayor seems to be hard to find on this side of the pond — it’s unavailable at Amazon and not listed in the Paperback Swap system yet, so I’ll have to wait on that one.

    I just finished The Book Thief — which I loved. The writing was beautiful — delcious, as you say! 🙂 I savoured every word.

  2. Oops, forgot to mention that with the Book Depository, you get your book order within a week. Okay, done my plug! 🙂 They’re really helpful and terribly efficient!

    By the way, Michelle, did I tell you that I got to meet Markus Zusak in person at the Christchurch International Writers’ Festival a year or so ago. Young lad. Utterly charming. Not in the least full of himself. Great writer. As a matter of fact, I have just put my name down on the Library’s Reserve list for his new book, I Am the Messenger. He has some videos out on You Tube where he talks about the writing process at the Sutherland Library in New South Wales. And he discusses The Book Thief on his website if you’re interested. He’s so cute! He’s got that shy, I’m-just-a-humble-kind-of-guy appeal that brings out the mother in all of us!!! Or should I just speak for myself??? 🙂 Check it out!

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