Saturday, December 15, 2012

Dec. 15: Heartbreak and Escapism

A dichotomy of a day: lovely, cold weather; lovely family time; satisfying sewing time as I finished Caroline's pj pants and am VERY satisfied with them; lovely tree put up; delicious dinner--and then the news of the shooting in Newtown and the horrible sense of devastating guilt: guilt for our happiness, my happiness, in the face of this horror, and then the anger and guilt for our national refusal to *do* anything about the proliferation of guns in our nation. The NRA and Second Amendment boosters can put up the notes about guns not killing people and spoons making people fat, but the statistics are out and they are damning. And yet--it's our children, our six year old children, and five or so teachers, some of them in their twenties!, who are dead, and each time we say we should do something (or declaim the fact that we don't have to do anything, because it's not our fault), and nothing changes. I am heartsick. When I think about it too much, I cry. . . so I'll post my books, and get ready to write my letters to my representatives, and I'll cling to the idea that treasuring good moments is the only possible response in the moment.

Hug your family. And send thoughts--prayers--whatever you call them--to the families in Newtown. And consider a letter or an email, maybe even one/month until something changes.

The FitzOsbornes in Exile (The Montmaray Journals, #2)The FitzOsbornes in Exile by Michelle Cooper
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Well, Michelle Cooper has me hooked. My reservations about the whole situation being ripped off from Dodie Smith and I Capture the Castle have faded, even tho the first sentence of this one, book #2, is credited to that novel! The book combines a lot of political history (the situations are mostly accurate, even tho Montmaray is fictional), a nuanced coming-of-age story, and a British society gossip fest. . . . and I am delighted that each book is longer than the other, and I have the final book, The FitzOsbornes at War (I think that's the title!) in my book bag!

Highly recommended for Anglophiles, smart y.a. readers, and fans of Dodie Smith, Jane Austen, and/or Cold Comfort Farm.

View all my reviews

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I sprinted through this one because it was late back to the library and also because I want to get to the third Montmaray novel, so perhaps I didn't give it a good chance, but this is a typical McCall Smith/Isabel Dalhousie novel: slow moving, thoughtful, predictable, full of unusual ideas and vocabulary (in what other book would "meretricious" be used twice?). McCall Smith has some good things to say about the importance of love and beauty, good food and appreciation. Though this one was not particularly outstanding in any way, I enjoyed this outing with Isabel. 

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