Dorothy Richardson - PilgrimageOh dear – I haven’t done any reviewing for AGES! Today I’m just doing a quick one, but I have FINISHED KEN LIVINGSTONE at last (I note I was reading him at Christmas-time!) and he’ll be up next on the roster.  I’m currently reading and very much loving the first volume of Harold Nicolson’s Letters and Diaries, beautifully edited by his son Nigel – I can’t wait to share these with you, and I’m so pleased I found two of the volumes on a wander around Macclesfield. I’m also reading another Virago, “The Fly on the Wheel” by Katherine Cecil Thurston, set in Waterford and looking at what happens when forbidden love enters a quiet community. I will get on to “To the Lighthouse” for #Woolfalong before the end of the month, too, I promise.

Dorothy Richardson – “Honeycomb” (Virago)

The third book in the “Pilgrimage” series and with it we end that first (battered) volume. In this fairly short work, Miriam has accepted a job as governess at a big posh house, and initially revels in her luxurious surroundings, but then starts to look closely at her employers and their children, her role in their lives and her inability to be what they seem to want. She also falls into an odd position in the household, included in weekend house parties but viewing them as – yet again – somewhat of an outsider.

The worldly Bob is writing to her from London and she muses on marriage, considering it’s not for her even as two of her sisters are getting married – the description of their double wedding is a tour de force in the book.

There’s some form of dislocation, and as usually happens in these books, it seems, we’re  not sure what’s happened. All of a sudden, Miriam is trapped in a seaside resort with her mother, who is suffering from some sort of nervous collapse. Different people must be consulted, and Miriam is told things are more serious than she thought. We’re left undecided as to what’s going to happen at the end of the book – where are those “boys” who have entered the family and are meant to be sorting things out?

This feels like an interstitial book and a betweeny bit of life after the promise of the big house. Will Miriam get trapped into caring for her mother, or will she escape and be odd and free? As I’ve not read the other volumes in the series, I have no idea – but I’m looking forward to finding out!

Note: this fills in 1917 in my Century of Books!

Exciting re-issues!

Ali over at Heaven-Ali has been working really hard to raise awareness of author Mary Hocking, a quietly excellent mid-century writer, and her work and the support of other readers and bloggers has come to fruition TODAY, as Bello Books start to reissue Mary Hocking’s novels in e and paperback versions. And then I was thrilled to read on the lovely Jane of Beyond Eden Rock’s blog that Open Road Media are reissuing several of Margery Sharp’s books – ebooks at first but let’s hope for paperbacks there, too. Jane has hosted reading weeks for Sharp, and I know she’s very excited about this development, coming a little later in the year.

One acquisition (aren’t I good) and I’m not going to put a pic of it up because it made everyone’s eyes go funny scrolling past it on Facebook, but Bob Stanley’s history of pop music, “Yeah Yeah Yeah” leapt out at me in Oxfam Books the other day, and it’s been on my wishlist for ages, so it would have been rude not to …