Last month was filled with some great books--here are the first few:
The Devil at Saxon Wall by Gladys Mitchell
This is a Mrs Bradley mystery. I am late to these books, but I have to say that I find them fascinating. They are all so different and the more of them that I read, the more I see how ahead of her time Mitchell was in some ways. In others, we get a glimpse into what psychology was like in its early stages and how it evolved, as Mrs Bradley’s views change as the series progresses. In some books, like this one, there is also an anthropological quality, as we learn about the places in which the books are set--the folklore, the traditions, the dialects, the food, daily life, etc. I request a few at a time from the library, read them, then tae a break before requesting the next batch--there are over 60 in the series. In this book, successful author Hannibal Jones has a novel due and has writer’s block. Mrs Bradley advises him to go off to a quiet rural village to have a change of scene. He chooses Saxon Wall and is at first intrigued by the locals, their quirky ways, and hints of the secrets they keep. Things become more sinister, though, and he calls on Mrs Bradley for assistance. It was a complicated plot, but quite an interesting one.
Threads of Life: A History of the World Through the Eye of a Needle by Clare Hunter
I LOVED this book. The author takes readers through the history of needlwork and how it has been used by women through the centuries to make connections, to empower, to protest, and to encourage change.
The book begins with Elizabeth, a novelist, looking out the window of a cab, spotting a woman she used to know. She rushes out of the cab and tries to follow this woman, only to lose track of her. From there, we learn the story of who this woman is, what relationship she had with Elizabeth, what happened to bring them to this point, and what will happen now. The story goes back and forth between the past and the 1980s when the book is set. The house of the title refers to Elizabeth’s aunt’s house, in which much of the action takes place. Elizabeth has always been close to her aunt, especially after her mother died of an illness that is genetic and may or may not have been passed on to her.
St Catherine’s Church and Graveyard and the Medieval Town of Killybegs published by Killybegs Community Response Scheme
We picked up this book at the tourist information centre. It is quite informative! It provides a general historical overview of Killybegs and the church and graveyard, talks about the archaeological work that has been carried out, and provides information on the flora and fauna of the area.
And now, I am off to turn the calendar page. Hope the new month has started off nicely in your part of the world!