Had a lovely visit from Neil and Denise yesterday, they are here to pick up our car to take it back to Yellowknife, about a 5 day road trip. They are renting a U-haul trailer to transport the furniture Dave has made for them during their marriage, a china cabinet, a Deacon’s bench, and the Grandfather clock which Neil really wants. Dave made the case and bought the inner workings. I wish we lived closer but it’s great to see them twice in the one year. This road trip coincides with their 25 year anniversary.
Not a review, just to say I read many of Ms. Siddons’ books years ago and thought I’d go back and see if I enjoyed them as much. Sort of stalled on the Mrs. Binchy’s book and was looking for authors I have enjoyed in the past. Will report on progress.
I have just finished this. I was a bit disappointed: the story seemed melodramatic and drawn out, and in tone it was more chicklit than I expected. He kept filling us in on minor characters' backstory when we were in a major character's POV, which really annoyed me. But I did enjoy it in parts. I thought he captured something of small town Irish life (though I am no judge of small town Irish life, to be fair). Auntie Eileen's B&B was a comic masterpiece, and I think he is very good at that sort of thing, a sort of Irish Alan Bennett. I just hope he gets into his stride with his storytelling.
The mind of the people is like mud,
From which arise strange and beautiful things,
But mud is none the less mud,
Though it bear orchids and prophesying Kings,
Dreams, trees, and water's bright babblings.
It has found form and colour and light,
The cold glimmer of the ice-wrapped Poles;
It has called a far-off glow Arcturus,
And some pale weeds, lilies of the valley.
It has imagined Virgil, Helen and Cassandra;
The sack of Troy, and the weeping for Hector—
Rearing stark up 'mid all this beauty
In the thick dull neck of Ajax.
There is a dark Pine in Lapland,
And the great figured Horn of the Reindeer
Moving soundlessly across the snow,
Is its twin-brother, double-dreamed,
In the mind of a far-off people.
It is strange that a little mud
Should echo with sounds, syllables and letters,
Should rise up and call a mountain Popocatapetl,
And a green-leafed wood Oleander.
These are the ghosts of invisible things;
There is no Lapland, no Helen and no Hector;
And the Reindeer is a darkening of the brain;
And Oleander is but Oleander.
Mary Magdalena and the vine Lachrymæ Christi
Were like ghosts up the ghost of Vesuvius,
As I sat and drank wine with the soldiers,
As I sat in the Inn on the mountain,
Watching the shadows in my mind.
The mind of the people is like mud:
Where are the imperishable things,
The ghosts that flicker in the brain—
Silent women, orchids and prophesying Kings,
Dreams, trees, and water's bright babblings!
W.J. Turner - 'Talking with soldiers'