Category Archives: Classics

Twelve Years a Slave

Solomon Northup was a free black man who lived his whole life in New York until, in 1841, he took a job as a traveling musician. This job landed him in Washington, DC, where, despite possessing papers showing he was … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Memoir, Nonfiction | 2 Comments

Mrs. Ames

This 1912 novel by E.F. Benson focuses on the people of a little English town who don’t seem to have much to do except to watch each other and gossip about who is dining with whom and when. Mrs. Ames … Continue reading

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The Ladies of Lyndon

By just about any measure, Agatha Cocks is lucky in her marriage. Sir John Clewer, while older, is kind and seems fond of Agatha, and she will have the honor of becoming the mistress of Lyndon, a grand country house. … Continue reading

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The Doctor’s Wife

Ever since Kae was a little girl, she was fascinated by the Hanaoka family, especially Otsugi, a beautiful woman who married into the family. So Kae was delighted when Otsugi approached her family to ask if Kae would marry her … Continue reading

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My Mother’s House and Sido

These two novella/memoirs by Colette are fine examples of well-written books that appear to do exactly what they set out to do but that still fail to engage me. I can see that the writing is lovely and effective at … Continue reading

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Love in a Cold Climate

Nancy Mitford’s 1949 follow-up to The Pursuit of Love is more of a companion piece to the earlier novel than a sequel. She fills in a few gaps in the narrative here are there — like narrator Fanny’s own marriage — … Continue reading

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The Pursuit of Love

Fanny, the narrator of this 1945 novel by Nancy Mitford, was abandoned by her parents at an early age and raised by her Aunt Emily, who proved to be an excellent mother. Her childhood involved Alconleigh, home of her Uncle … Continue reading

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The Squire

The title character in this 1938 novel by Enid Bagnold is a mother in her 40s expecting her fifth child. Her husband is usually by her side, but this time, his work has called him away, and she’s left to … Continue reading

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The Caravaners

Baron Otto Von Ottridge, the narrator of this 1909 novel by Elizabeth von Arnim, sees himself as a source of great wisdom and humor, the most interesting person at any gathering. And so, he assumes that he will have no … Continue reading

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The Murderess

As Hadoula, the 60-year-old protagonist of this 1903 novel by Alexandros Papdiamantis (and translated from Greek by Peter Levi) takes care of her infant granddaughter, she considers her life as a woman and the lives of her daughters. How much … Continue reading

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