I have a small confession to make. This weekend I ordered books (yes, plural) from Persephone Books. It has been a very long time since I have ordered from them and I seemed to be having a Persephone sort of moment (it came about through my thinking and writing about suffragettes--I know there are a couple novels on the Persephone backlist dealing with suffragettes--see how my mind works?). I was just going to get one, but you know when you order three you get a discount, and I am a sucker for a good deal. So, I'll share my new Persephones when they arrive in the mail later this month.
In the interim I think it is high time to get back to my Persephone piles (I have two healthy piles of Persephone titles sitting next to my Virago bookshelf) and choose an unread book. Curiously, I did have a book dealing with suffragettes but then thought it might be overkill to read another novel about them--maybe three is too much at once? I always tend to overdo, so maybe picking something entirely different will mean a better chance at successfully finishing it (the year of languishing books is 2015 at my house).
I didn't let myself browse too much as then the stack to choose from would be much larger than three, so I had a few particular titles in mind and have narrowed them down and now can't decide. In order of which book I think I most want to read--here are a few teasers.
Heat Lightning by Helen Hull was published in 1932 about a married woman who returns home to try and figure out why she is so unhappy in her life.
"Now that she was back in the town of her childhood, standing on a corner across from the village triangle of green, a small pyramid of luggage at her feet, Amy's one clear thought, over the fluttering of unimportant recognitions, was, 'Why on earth have I come?' The interurban bus which had deposited her along with the bags at the curb had already bumped its noisy elephantine way out of sigh up the slight incline of the main street. She had forgotten, during all the years when her only visit home had been n winter, how summer felt in this middle western land, spread smoothly over town and country, tucked in at the horizon inescapably. Her coming had been a kind of flight, what she had run from had been far clearer than her goal."
Patience by John Coates sounds like it could be great fun since it is "funny, touching and risqué". What more can you ask for in a summer read?
"It was odd, thought Patience, that surprises never came singly, and that the day she asked herself whether she was going to have another baby, poor Lionel should have asked himself to tea."
"If course she didn't want to be uncharitable, and she was very sorry for poor Lionel (who was her only brother) because of what Peggy had done. Peggy had run away and joined not a proper order--being married to Lionel she could hardly do that, even an Irish one--but a sort of Retreat, where poor Lionel, or any other man for that matter, wasn't allowed inside."
Saplings by Noel Streatfeild has long been on my pile and I often reach for it but I must admit that it tends to get overlooked as I have read some very tepid reviews by book bloggers I follow so am always hesitant over this one. Silly, I know, since maybe I will read it and love it. I do love how it begins:
"As the outgoing tide uncovered the little stretch of sand amongst the pebbles, the children took possession of it, marking it as their own with their spades, pails, shrimping nets and their mother's camp stool."
"It was early and the beach was almost deserted. There were a few bathers of the sort that swam for exercise, but the majority of the bathing machines and tents were empty. The sea was grey-blue spangled with gold dancing specks. Far out the raft bobbed."
Each in its own way has a summery feel to it--either setting or style. Maybe I should close my eyes, shuffle the three books about and then point and that will be the one I read. Any favorites amongst the three? The last Persephone book I read (last year) was purely on whim and I loved it. Of course I want this choice to be equally as good.