SO...I've said farewell to The Bride's Farewell - it's on its own in the world now, and will have to make its way. So far, the portents have been good.
Marie Claire calls it:
A poetically charged romance, full of thorny emotional dilemmas. On the morning of her wedding, Pell -Ridley steals away from her troubled home, -saddles up her white horse, Jack, and bravely heads off into an unknown future. With more than a nod to Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles, Meg Rosoff has created a feisty 19th-century heroine whose troubles and travails are strikingly salient in the world of modern romance. Determined to carve out her own destiny, the resourceful Pell's staunchness is a tad undermined when she encounters the rugged, taciturn poacher known as the Dogman. They fancy the pants off each other, but it's complicated. Pell wants to find her missing brother and herself, while the poacher is entirely self-reliant, living the life of an unattached hunter. Rosoff explores how two strong characters can decide to make love work. Compelling."
And People Magazine gave it four out of four stars, and calls it "an absorbing treat." Lots of blogs have also said lovely things - my favourite so far is this wonderful review by Norah Piehl. Gosh. Thank you, Norah. I feel just like a proud parent. Do well, little book, and remember always to pay your way, be polite, and wear clean knickers in case of being hit by a bus.
Isn't it amazing how much power book bloggers have gained in a few short years? Everyone I know seems to have favourites, and whenever I finish a book these days, I'll cruise around and see what 'the gang' thought. Not being a terribly insecure sort of person when it comes to opinions (has anyone noticed?) I'm mainly looking for like-minded souls. And this month it was easy.
I spent some of the happiest days of my summer reading Hilary Mantel's utterly brilliant Wolf Hall, and would go so far as to say that it's the best modern novel I've ever read. No, really. I've already told Sarah Crown at the Guardian that if it doesn't win the Booker, I plan to throw myself under a train, or at least be in an extremely bad mood for months to come. Dear readers*, if you haven't got yourself a copy, get one.
*OK, you readers under sixteen are exempted. It's very long, and you have to have something to look forward to in life.
The rest of the news is not very bookish, and involves lying on the beach looking up at the Perseid meteor showers on the lovely dark clear night of August 12th in East Anglia. Here's more or less what we saw:
The rest of the summer I spent jumping over waves and over fences, riding my lovely loan horse, Duke, from Poplar Park, and bemoaning my lack of progress as a dressage rider. My husband took this picture, in which Duke and I look fairly comfortable with each other, but any proper riders out there will wonder why his head and my shoulders are both so high! Another decade or two, and I should have the hang of it.
And to conclude, I'm not even going to discuss There Is No Dog. It's being a very very bad book at the moment and refusing to fall into a beautiful graceful story arc. All the elements are there, but at the moment they're jumbling up against each other like crows in a bag. Not a pretty thought.
Summer must be almost over. Time to get back to work.