Let’s Visit Awhile. . . in England

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If only I was really in England!  No doubt my afternoon reading would absolutely lovely sitting in the English countryside. And that is exactly how I’m spending many of my free moments…reading!

It would probably be an interesting idea to actually post about the wonderful books I have enjoyed with my children and in my own private reading. I could even share about the ones that I sat to the side. It is rare that I don’t finish a book but it does happen! Unfortunately,  I am so far behind in reviewing/sharing what I have read, I don’t even know where to begin.

So, why not just share a book that I am reading and enjoying very much right now?

The Trouble with Goats and Sheep (Joanna Cannon) is set in the late 1970s in a English neighborhood. There is a wide cast of characters but the story is pulled along by Grace and Tilly, two young girls looking for God. If they find God, then Mrs. Creasy will be found. This has a bit of mystery/suspense, diverse and engaging characters, and absolutely lovely language. Ms. Cannon has a lovely way with words that create pictures for feelings, mood, and atmosphere.

“I stared past the vicar to Enid’s coffin, and thought of the ninety-eight years which lay inside. I wondered if she’d thought of them too, alone on her sitting room carpet, and I hope perhaps that she had. I thought about how she’d be carried from the church and through the graveyard, past all the Ernests and the Mauds and the Mabels, and how ninety-eight years would be put inside the ground, for dandelions to grow across her name. I thought about the people that would forever walk past her, on their way to somewhere else. People at weddings and christenings. People taking a shortcut, having a cigarette. I wondered if they would ever stop and think about Enid and her ninety-eight years, and I wondered if the world would have a little remembering left for her.” p 88

I just happened to stumble across The Trouble with Goats and Sheep one evening while browsing Pinterest. I wish I could remember where? Someone had it on a “must read in 2016” type of list. Spending so much time in children’s literature, I have to purpose to make time for adult selections.

“It was strange how different people’s kitchens could be. Some were shouty and confused, like Mrs. Dakin’s, and some kitchens, like Eric Lamb’s, hardly made a sound. A clock tick-tocked above the doorframe and a fridge whirred and hummed to itself in the corner. Other than that, there was silence as we ran the taps and stared through the window and washed our hands with Fairy Liquid. Next to the stove were two easy chairs, one crumpled and sagging, the other smooth and unworn. Over the back of each were crocheted blankets, reams of multicolored yarn stretched together in a shout of color, and on the dresser was a photograph of a woman with kind eyes. She watched us dry our hands and take lemonade from Eric Lamb, and I wondered if it  had been her patience which had woven together the strands of wool, for a chair she could no longer sit in.”  p.182

I’m just a bit over halfway finished with my reading and am eager to see how the lives of this little neighborhood are going to end. I’m taking it slow and enjoying my time sitting on the wall with Grace and Tilly.

“I still hadn’t learned the power of words. How, once they have left your mouth, they have a breath and a life of their own. I had yet to realize that you no longer own them. I hadn’t learned that, once you let them go, the words can then, in fact, become the owners of you.” p.187

What have you been reading this summer?

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