Wandering with my eyes and heart open, searching for pieces to add to my own personal big picture.

Tag: eliza knight

Beautifully Relatable Characters

The Mayfair Bookstore by Eliza Knight has stolen my heart and I don’t want it back. Both main characters are so beautifully relatable.

Nancy, as a writer…

“If I married him, I could go about town in the latest fashions, ride in fancy cars and dine nightly at the Ritz, but I’d much rather have my mind tingle in delight of someone with a modicum of intelligence than a bursting purse.”

…sigh…yes, me too. I still long for more (of them, not more intelligent) intelligent people to talk with. I’m always searching for new acquaintances. It’s a big part of why I blog about books. It’s a cry in the dark for conversation.

“So often in our family I felt like the odd woman out. A voice of reason? I’m not so certain, but at the least, a varying voice on absolutes.”

I’ve always felt like an outsider. I suppose everyone does.

“So often I felt like an imposter in my own skin, and here was a reminder that I was not simply a woman playing at being a writer, I was a writer. A published author. Warmth bloomed in my chest, a sense of belonging, of hope.”

How wonderful would that be to be published? When someone reads my work, likes or comments, I feel so much of that belonging, that hope. My words in a bottle have reached another human!

And then Lucy, as bibliophile…

“It was a dream come true every day to help shape the home libraries of private collectors, picking out amazing books that some clients would appreciate, covet even, while visitors to their homes might only gaze admiringly at the spines and wonder what they cost. Rare books to a curator or collector were a gem, but to an outsider, they were a status symbol of the elite.”

This one has me stumped. Why would you have someone else collect books for you? My collection is not of prized or rare editions, it’s all books I’ve read and annotated myself over the years. If someone’s eyes glance over my shelves, I’m thrilled. Will they find something they have read? Will they want to talk about it? Did they see something that interests them? They are welcome to borrow it! What do my shelves say about me?

“Rich history hung like magic in the London air and whispered to her like faint conversations from the past, redolent of chic perfume and pipe smoke.”

I just loved the sound of this sentence in my head. I’ve always been too timid for travel overseas. Planes are just not my thing. But maybe someday.

“…Lucy admitted a deep attachment to both Frankenstein and Pride and Prejudice. Oliver remarked, with a raised eyebrow, how summarily different they were. But Lucy argued not at all, because both inflicted a deep emotional toll upon their readers.”

I’d agree with the deep emotional toll from reading Frankenstein. That poor, poor creature. Created and thrust into the world, his own creator horrified by his existence. That reminds me…I should read that again!

“I thought about being a writer, or maybe an editor at a publishing house. But in the end, I realized my passion is all about reading and enjoying books as opposed to writing or fixing them.”

My heart resonated with this. Sure, I dabble here and there. I’d love to write more articles, possibly even submit them for publication, but really, I’m a reader. I write only to pass on the information and joy I find in the books I read, to connect with another person over our common interests or discuss differences in opinion, hear other people’s points of view. If I could do this in person, over coffee (with a touch of whiskey in it), I’d be in heaven.

I’m not quite finished reading this delicious book, so you’ll hear more from me about it tomorrow!

The Mayfair Bookshop: New Read

Four non-fiction books in a row means it’s high time for a novel, especially since I finished my previous read the night before a holiday. And this time it’s The Mayfair Bookshop by Eliza Knight! Why did I choose this book? Well…that’s a bit of a story.

My TBR shelf has turned into shelves, and you know that’s not allowed. Generally, I keep my TBR to one shelf, but with the windfall I accumulated a couple years ago due to a friend’s sudden move out of state (and she had to leave her books behind), I’ve allowed myself more than one shelf for a while now. I swore (a not so solemn oath) that I would read the books I had before I bought any more, but alas, here we are.

In my defense I have slowed down and this month promised I would refrain from purchasing the darlings and make an attempt at whittling down the pile, and then we went to Costco.

Like I’ve said before, I don’t usually buy any books there, but I do almost always peruse the stacks, just in case. There are sometimes fun novels there that beg to be taken home. Honest, they beg. I hear them.

This time as we moved toward the aisle where my precious coffee is located, my husband glanced down at the cart and looked back at me. “What’s this?” I smiled. “A moral imperative.” He laughed. “Why these ones?” I point to the words on the covers, “bookshop” and “library.” “Ah, I see.” I cannot resist a book about books and readers. They’re like friends coming to visit. He knows this.

At the checkout, I had to rescue them before he threw them on the conveyor belt right along with the meat and frozen vegetables. Seriously.

I posted on Instagram that I had begun a beautiful Easter Sunday (although I had forgotten it was Easter until I opened Facebook) with this fun book and several extra cups of coffee. That post led me to receive a comment from the author herself, which thrilled me to the bone.

I read for three hours yesterday morning, and my first thoughts were, “Charming.” and “I’m in love with these characters.” Last night, when I couldn’t fall asleep, I thought I’d get up and read a bit and see if that helped. I sat down, opened the book, “No, wait. I need a cup of tea.” Put the book aside to start the kettle, went back to get the book and read while my tea steeped.

I imagined the characters becoming exasperated with my indecision. “Is she going to read, or not?” I’m sure they are all in there waiting, their action paused, for me to pick the book back up. I wonder what they do while they wait.

This morning, I’m already halfway through this delicious book and I’ll probably read a bit more before I start the rest of my day. You know, the part of the day I spend off the couch, outside a book. The boring part!

I’m sorry Ms. Knight, but I do have one complaint. I feel compelled to add all the books you mention in your story to my TBR list. And call me ignorant, but I didn’t realize this was historical fiction when I picked it up, and that Nancy Mitford was a real author. So, thanks for that!

That’s sarcasm in case it didn’t come across that way. Almost every book I read adds two or three more books to my list. Reading is never-ending entertainment and information accumulation. And a TBR list is always one step forward and two steps back, or three, or four. It’s beautiful.

I have many Costco adventures. Click over to Shopping Cart Antics for more!

Want to read more of my thoughts on this gem of a book? Try Beautifully Relatable Characters.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén

%d bloggers like this: