This is kind of a silly book about a woman who is writing a country-western romance. In order to add verisimilitude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative, she decides to take riding lessons. Now why a country-western romance writer decides to take lessons in a high-end dressage barn is beyond me, but that is what she does.
Told from alternating viewpoint of a broken-down cow pony name Sonny, we follow Clarissa as she enters the world of high-end show horses. Along the way, she catches the eye of a young, handsome, Argentinian dressage teacher. He could have any of the young, nubile women thirsty after his body, but he is attracted to this middle-aged writer on an old cow pony.
Clarissa’s life comes to a crisis when her husband asks her to come to Paris where he is enjoying a vacation. Which is it to be? Her boring husband of many years, or the hot Argentinian teacher with his mysterious, tragic past?
I love Gloria Steinem. This book is an inspiration and a reminder that our intellectual life doesn’t end as we grow older. I feel better about turning 70 after reading this book. Go, Gloria!
Sometimes I find real gems in the lists of low-price books, and this is one of them. It’s a light summer read about a young woman engaged to the wrong man, saved by his quirky, unconventional crazy aunt.
When the aunt dies, she leaves Marnie her Brooklyn apartment, with the hope that she will live there and find true love. Of course she does.
As I enter my seventies, I find myself looking for a guide on how to do it. So far, I’ve read May Sarton’s journals, and they helped a bit. She mentions Doris Grumback, so I tried hers, and I found it much more helpful. For one thing, Grumbach doesn’t seem so self-absorbed. She is still engaged, still traveling, still involved in other people’s lives.
I particularly enjoyed her descriptions of her travels and the acknowledgement that it is probably for the last time. My travelling days have also come to an end, and I enjoy looking back at my trips and the good memories they hold. Fortunately, I never took a camera, so my memories are not limited to the size of a view-finder. I also don’t have piles of photographs to dispose of.
Grumbach offers a good example of aging gracefully. I’d love to share a cup of coffee with her.
I know how I’m supposed to feel about this great classic of medieval literature. There should be some sympathy for the sufferings of Abelard, as well as mooning over the great love of his life, Heloise. In fact, it’s just another case of a man who couldn’t keep it in his pants, or tunic as the case may be.
It seems strange that this book is called *son* of the shadows when the main character is Liadan, daughter of Sorcha. It is she who carries the main action of the book. Perhaps the title refers to the Painted Man, who definitely lives in the shadows, outside of lawful society. Their paths cross when Liadan, a healer like her mother, is kidnapped to heal one of the Painted Man’s gang.
At first Liadan is angry and resentful at what happened to her, but she begins to see beneath the scars and tattoos of the Painted Man. Eventually their lives come together in an unexpected way.
This continuation of Sorcha’s story is every bit as satisfy at the first book in the series.
This is the gateway drug to the Sevenwaters series, which I binge-read over a period of days. I was so enthralled by the series and so eager to find out what happened next, I’m sure I missed some of the subtleties of the series. I shall have to reread them soon to pick up what I missed.
This is basically a retelling of the fairy tale of the woman whose six brothers are turned into swans. Only she can reverse the curse by making them shirts, but must remain silent while she does it, or lose them forever.
Marillier has taken the bare bones of the fairy tale and woven a wonderful tale, full of love and pain. I recommend it highly.
Just when I think a plot is a little farfetched, damn if NPR doesn’t do a segment on someone exactly like the heroine. This is the case with Violet, a brilliant plant scientist whose experiments with genetics reveals the idea of chromosomes carrying the genetic material that gives plants their characteristics. Unfortunately for Violet, she is stuck in a time period where women simply don’t do science, much less science studying the sex lives of plants. She is forced to hide behind a man to present her ideas as his.
Unfortunately, Sebastian, her life-long friend, is tired of the lying and posturing that being the public face of her discoveries requires. He has loved Violet since childhood and encourages her to step out of the shadows to take credit for her own brilliant work.
Another fact-based Milan novel with a strong heroine and a loving hero who values her for her strength.
I don’t remember my first Heyer. It was in high school, some 50+ years ago, and I have been a fan of her romances ever since. I’m reading one right now. Rachel Hyland, obviously another fan, turns a loving, albeit critical, eye on Heyer’s first novel, written when she was a teenager.
Chapter by chapter, she dissects the novel, exposing all its weaknesses as well as its strengths, revealing why it is so beloved by fans. Even Jenny the Wonder Horse comes under scrutiny.
This book is a delight and belongs in the library of every Heyer fan, whether a long-time reader or the first-time venturer into the wonderful world of Georgette Heyer. More, please!
Sarah A. Chrisman
What started out as an interest in 19th-century living evolved into a full-blown lifestyle. This couple live as completely as possible in the 19th century. The challenges and rewards make up the bulk of the book. Fortunately, the husband has a profession as a bicycle repairman that has changed little over the years. His job is much the same.
For Sarah keeping house is a struggle at first, but she soon settles into a life without modern technology. I wouldn’t want to trade places with her, but it is interesting to read about her struggles and triumphs.
It is when she turns to long chapters about her and her husband’s bicycle trips that I tuned out and started skipping. They just aren’t very interesting to me. I’m glad that she and her husband are absorbed in minute details of bicycle travel using 19th-century bikes, but I found little of interest in them.