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About Viccie

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    reading, writing, wine, dawdling around
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  1. The House on the Strand - Daphne du Maurier
  2. I came across a Patrick Gale I didn't know about at a second hand book sale and fell upon it. It ranks as one of the best books I've read this year. Sophie, an incredibly bright 14 year old from a children's home wins a scholarship to Tathams, a highy academic boarding school that takes in a few girls. She forms a close but tumultuous friendship with Lucas, Jewish and gay, and Charlie, with a desperately snobbish mother, who might or might be gay and through four years the pace gathers momentum to a climax, or rather two climaxes. This isn't just a school story, and it's a very good one, it's also Sophie's story, her growing up, learning to stretch herself and think for herself, to juggle her two very different lives, terms at atop boarding school, holidays back in a children's him and Patrick Gale is also very good at writing from a female point of view. Highly recommended.
  3. Straight on Until Morning - Mary S Lovell
  4. The subtitle for this book is "Six Brilliant and Extraordinary Society Hostesses Between the Wars – A Spectacle of Celebrity, Talent, and Burning Ambition" and sounded like it was going to be a very good read, especially as it got glowing reviews from pubications such as the Guardian who are not prone to liking stories about high society and out and out snobs. It should have been fascinating and parts were, Sian Evans obviously knows her stuff, she's written other books of the same period but sadly it's an utter mess. It reads as if she's written a fairly competant first draft and has never gone back to revise it so there are a lot of repetitions and darting about from one of her hostesses to the other, often in following paragraphs so you loose track of who is doing what. She's also infuriatingly inconsistant in what she calls people - for instance the Duchess of York is sometimes the Duchess of York, other times she's just referred to as "Elizabeth", "Clemmie" appears on the page with no explanation that she was in fact Winston Churchill's wife and Sibyl Colefax is sometimes Lady Colefax, sometimes Lady Sibyl (which she wasn't). Such a shame, a good editor would have made all the difference.
  5. I've got this on my wish list, it sounds great.
  6. My Grandmother Asked me to tell You She's Sorry - Frederik Bachman
  7. The Fall of the House of Byron - Emily Brand Queen Bees- Sian Evans A Single Thread - Tracy Chevalier The World that We Knew - Alice Hoffman
  8. Another of your books that brings back vivid memories. Staying at my Grandmother's house reading Uncle Silas in bed, hearing the wind whistling outside. They lived in Berkhamsted but were in the middle of an overgrown 2 acre garden so the house was in a patch of utter darkness with a single street light partially concealed by a tree. I read Dracula there too.
  9. Goodness that takes me back to a freezing bedroom (my father had a very Scottish attitude to heating in bedrooms, especially children's bedrooms) aged 13, finishing She and reading Ayesha until about 4 in the morning! Can't remember the full details of the plot other than it was completelygripping.
  10. I've read a couple of pretty unkind reviews about this book but yours has made me think again. Thanks Tay!
  11. The Bear and the Nightingale - Katherine Arden
  12. The Dark is Rising - Susan Cooper
  13. She deserved it. The book is exquisite and an incredble read too.
  14. My Friend Flicka - Mary O Hara
  15. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil - John Berendt
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