Sunday, March 11, 2012
Come Again No More
This saga continuation is mostly about the depression years and the struggles of farmers and ranchers to keep their land. It ends in 1940, so I'm sure part three will cover the war years. I enjoy reading about this era and about the western Nebraska and Wyoming areas. I don't find anything online about when the third book will be coming out, but I'll be watching for it.
From the inside cover: "Vivid mysterious and unforgettable. The Butterfly Cabinet is Bernie McGill's engrossing portrayal of the dark history that intertwines two lives. Inspired by a true story of the death of the daughter of an aristocratic Irish family at the end of the nineteenth century, McGill powerfully tells this tale of two women."
The book unfolds in chapters that alternate between the prison diary of the mother and the unburdening of a former nanny at age 90 as she tells her secrets to the niece of the young girl who was killed. It isn't light reading, but it is a thoughtful exploration of maternal love and guilt and there's the mystery of what really happened the day the child died. The tale also touches on class, religion and the political situation in Ireland at the end of the 19th Century and the beginning of the 20th.
Jojo (named for the Beatles song) Moyes won her second Romantic Novel of the Year award for The Last Letter From Your Lover, a double love story. In the first half of the book it is 1960 when Jennifer Stirling wakes up in the hospital. She remembers nothing of the car accident that put her there, nor her wealthy husband, not even her own name. Searching for clues about her life, she finds an impassioned love letter signed simply "B".
In 2003, young journalist Ellie Haworth is searching the dusty archives of her newspaper for a story that will resurrect her faltering career when she finds another handwritten letter with an ardent plea. Ellie becomes obsessed with finding out what happened to the lovers. Did they live happily ever after?
Sophie Kinsella called the book, "A fabulous emotional and evocative book, perfect for anyone who loves Mad Men." I also found it faultless in its portrayal of what life was like for women in the 1960's. Having the two love stories intertwined made the changes in attitudes toward women's roles very apparent.
It is hard to say which of these three books I enjoyed the most. They are all good in their very different ways.