Some February Reading 

As was inevitable, life got busy! It’s the end of half term and as I sit with my morning cup of tea I thought about catching up on my blog posts and then I realised that I would have to write posts for three books, which seems a tremendous challenge so I have mushed them altogether.  

The Light Years by Elizabeth Jane Howard


I started this on a miserable train journey to London and I was hooked immediately.  I have heard quite a few people talking about it and seen various posts about it recently and I knew it was something I wanted to read.  The Light Years is the first instalment in a five book series following the lives of the Cazelet family, wealthy owners of a timber company.  It centres on two summers shorty before the Second World War spent at the family home in the country with three generations of the family visiting, the ages ranging from 70s right down to new born babies.  Howard’s writing is superb and I was quickly enthralled in the lives of the family and their servants; there were two moments in my reading where I actually gasped out loud and couldn’t believe what I was reading, one because of my preconceived idea and one from just shock in general.  I loved it so much I have lent it to my mum and I want her to hurry up and read it so I can talk to her about it.  I imagine I will write a big review when I have read the entire series and I cannot wait to start book two.  It’s on my kindle so I was thinking about leaving it until I go to Canada but I don’t know if I can wait that long. 

Under the Greenwood Tree by Thomas Hardy


I am slowly making my way through Thomas Hardy’s collected novels; I love his writing and the Wessex settings especially as I grew up in the area and still live within easy driving distance.  Under the Greenwood Tree is Hardy’s first novel and centres on a small village and the growing relationship between Dick Dewy and Fancy Day.  It explores a change in the musical ritual of the village and introduces the idea that change was beginning to affect all areas of rural Victorian life.  This wasn’t my favourite Hardy novel, I liked it but I didn’t feel the need to rush home to it and I wasn’t overally interested in the storyline.  I wonder if it is because it was his first novel and he was still developing his craft; I might try and read the remaining novels in publication order. 

Last Seen Wearing by Colin Dexter


I randomly picked Last Seen Wearing up two days ago having watched ten minutes of the Inspector Morse episode on ITV3.  I have vague recollections of attempting to read the first Morse book when I was teenager but I didn’t get very far.  I love it when I pick up a book on a complete whim and it turns out to be an amazing read and that was certainly the case with this one.  Dexter’s storyline is fantastic and I kept thinking I had solved the answer and then something else big was revealed.  What was refreshing about this was that Morse also didn’t have the answers right away and so you felt you were on the exact same journey as him.  Not that I don’t love Poirot, but the fact he knows it all can make you feel a bit stupid sometimes.  Interestingly, the character of Morse seemed slightly different to the TV programme and the excellent portrayal by John Thaw.  There were parts of his character that I don’t remember being mentioned in the TV programme and it was interesting to see his inner conflict. 

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