I’m still here!

Hello everyone!

Yes, I know there’s been a deafening roar of absolute silence from “up North” for ages. My sole and only excuse is that I have started an Open University Course (no doubt to be mentioned at some stage…) and I had to get back into the habit of reading non fiction (although some historical tomes seem more like fiction than fact) and my novel reading plummeted as a result.  I didn’t think that somehow you really wanted a blow by blow review of my set books.

Anyway, I have read one or two books as well. I also met the lovely Barbara Fox again whose  Bedpans and Bobby Socks I have mentioned before.  This time was in one of the local book chains where she was signing books along with the actual nurse whose adventures the book relates, Gwenda Gofton.

This is a lovely picture from the Morpeth Herald I have found. I can’t take photos like this!

There is no doubt still time to buy a cheerful book for Christmas…

I’m looking forward to Santa’s visit for the three new Persephones I believe may be headed my way. http://www.persephonebooks.co.uk/ for more details.  I have had an interesting time rereading Few Eggs and No Oranges by Vere Hodgson  which impressed me once more with its immediacy and realism.Reading a book written when no one really knew what their future held, whether they would survive in wartime London, and whether the country would be invaded is always a memorable experience.

Another Persephone that fits this description is the very different novel, number 31, A House in the Country by Jocelyn Playfair. This is a book about the rural home front, where war intrudes through the people that are so well drawn. A large house runs without servants, but with people who come and go, needing something, contributing something, being truly awful or just truly human. There is the charismatic hero who loves the heroine, but knows people too well to be able to stand by.  There is also another man who loves, but discovers a lot about himself.  Cressida is beautiful, wise, capable heroine, but her impatience with a aunt who refuses to accept that there is a war on, her feelings about the people who surround her, and the events that have shaped her life, make her so believable. She is in awe of one or two that surround her, she fears her own emotions, and she loves the house that almost becomes a character in its own right. This is not the most festive or cheerful book on the Persephone list, but it is beautifully written, poised on the edge of danger, with such interesting characters. If you have wondered what all the fuss is about Persephone books, this is a readable one to start with, if not the best known.

So, thank you to all those who have stuck with the Northernreader, and thank you for your comments while I’ve been silent. I hope your Christmas preparations proceed well!

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One thought on “I’m still here!

  1. Thanks for this, Joules! The book by Vere Hodgson sounds good – will try to get hold of it. Have you read the very charming ‘Nella Last’s War’? Victoria Wood dramatised it on TV as ‘Housewife 49’, which was also excellent.

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