Thursday, November 11, 2010

Lady Windermere's Fan

Finished Lady Windermere's Fan by Oscar Wilde. This comedic send-up of Victorian morals is not only humorous, but suspenseful as well. A quick and enjoyable read. It's been years since I read any Wilde.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Return of the Native

Finished The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy. A seemingly bucolic novel, typical of Hardy, turns dark and tragic when several of its characters allow misunderstanding to rule their decision-making. Much like Tess of the d'urbervilles, an important letter goes unread and leads to disaster.

Hardy's prose is rich with both negative, "All the shallower ponds had decreased to a vaporous mud amid which the maggoty shapes of innumerable obscure creatures could be indistinctly seen, heaving and wallowing with enjoyment." and positive descriptions "Winter again came round, with its winds, frosts, tame robins, and sparkling starlight." I always like to start a Hardy novel in mid-summer and finish it in the fall. This is my 200th blog post.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Roller Skates

Finished Roller Skates by Ruth Sawyer. It won the Newbery Medal in 1937. Set in the 1890s it is the story of Lucinda, a ten year old girl who lives with her teacher in a boarding house in New York while her family is in Europe. Lucinda considers herself an orphan during this time and builds herself a new family from the many different people she befriends while skating all over the city. From Rags and Bottles the junk man she meets while picnicking in an empty lot, to the Asian princess who she later finds murdered, the people she meets are all drawn to her. I feel like this book took a lot of risks for its time with murder, swearing and the death of a small child, but it was an extremely satisfying read.

Sawyer also won the Caldecott Honor Medal in 1945 for The Christmas Anna Angel and again in 1956 for Journey Cake, Ho!, which was illustrated by her son-in-law Robert McCloskey.