On recommendations from a very enthusiastic bookseller at Oxford Street’s Waterstones, I entered into the world of The Enchanted April. To be taken back to the 1920’s as a group of women fought against the status quo of their husbands expectations.
Elizabeth von Arnim manages to create four very head-strong characters, whose view on life mystifies me. Their power at the time to almost renounce their husbands for a month was certainly quite unexpected, adding a twist immediately to the tale.
It felt as though each woman, needed that removal from her normality, her home, her husband to find herself. That once these distractions were taken away, they were able to understand themselves for the very first time. I enjoyed seeing how each characters played out her connections and life decisions, and in a way reconnected with herself.
Yet as ever, once such strong characters are placed together bickering must begin, adding a charm of comedy to the storyline.
It’s a wonderful classic, which surprised me in its easy reading and intriguing story line; certainly well worth a read.
Anne Frank’s diary has shaped a generation in its presentation of war, hiding and ultimate betrayal. She’s a girl, no more ordinary but by a range of events become extraordinary.
After first reading her diary many years ago, I became enticed by her story, her strength and perseverance. Anne captures the essence of everyday life while surrounded by the most peculiar circumstances but her energy and love for life shine through.
It was therefore incredible to finally enter the secret annex, after years of dreaming of a trip to Amsterdam the two-hour queue was tiny in comparison. Yet it was a strangely surreal experience to walk the rooms we only know through description, but missing the furniture and in a way the soul of the building. The emptiness of the annex and loss it had held still outweighed the many visitors inside, giving it an atmosphere somehow familiar yet so different from the world Anne knew.
The experience is something I will certainly take with me, it evoked a clear message for peace and unity. Reinforcing to my generation and those that will follow the despicable events that war entails and if we are lucky one day the world will realise that too.
On the 80th anniversary of the very first penguin books, a collection of 80 classics have been reproduced all at the wonderful price of 80p. The most difficult part; deciding which ones to buy!
Like many others, and I’m sure this blog has made it clear, I love books; in all shapes and sizes. I enjoy exploring authors of new and old, one by one adding to my collection. So with the release of the Little Black Classics, it seemed a perfect opportunity to explore and expand my literature collection.
I therefore tried my hardest to whittle the collection down to ten, for my first purchase at least. I went in to Waterstones without having previously decided on my choices, instead I waited to see what took my fancy. I chose mostly based on the authors, some of whom I’d read and enjoyed, others who I felt it was about time to start reading their work. Others came from the title, which caught me for no particular reason, each backed up by the tiny blurb on the reverse. One was recommended for me while I stood and stared at my options for far too long, and my final choice, Darwin’s It was snowing butterflies is for a friend who introduced me to the Little Black Classics.
So with ten new books purchased, it’s time to start reading them and watch my collection grow…