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Search tags: elizabeth-von-arnim
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review 2017-08-15 23:08
Vera
Vera - Elizabeth von Arnim

'My little love isn't going to do anything that spoils her Everard's plans after all the trouble he has taken?' he said, seeing that with her mouth slightly open she gazed at him in an obvious astonishment and didn't say a word.

Vera, written in 1921 and partly informed by von Arnim's marriage to Earl Russell (the older brother to Bertrand), is as fascinating as it is frightening. 

 

Vera tells the story of young Lucy who marries the somewhat older Everard Wemyss and finds herself caught. The tragedy of it is, she doesn't realise it. 

 

Vera is often described as the prototype for Du Maurier's Rebecca (1938). In some ways this is quite true: 

 

Vera, like Rebecca, lends her name to the book's title. Vera, like Rebecca, is the late wife of the husband. Vera, like Rebecca, haunts the young new wife. 

 

However, on levels of dysfunction, Vera surpasses Rebecca by far. 

 

Marriage, Lucy found, was different from what she had supposed; Everard was different; everything was different. For one thing she was always sleepy. For another she was never alone. She hadn't realised how completely she would never be alone, or, if alone, not sure for one minute to the other of going on being alone. Always in her life there had been intervals during which she recuperated in solitude from any strain; now there were none. Always there had been places she could go to and rest in quietly, safe from interruption; now there were none.

I pretty quickly in the book wanted to shake Lucy and make her see what she was getting into, but I am not sure she would have listened. 

As the story progressed, dysfunction turned into what can only be described as a nightmare, and I truly hoped that Lucy, much like von Arnim, would find a means to escape from psycho-Everard's clutches. Or that she'd push him off a cliff. Or the top floor window.

Well, that was at the very beginning. She soon learned that a doubt in her mind was better kept there. If she brought it out to air it and dispel it by talking it over with him, all that happened was that he was hurt, and when he was hurt she instantly became perfectly miserable. Seeing, then, that this happened about small things, how impossible it was to talk with him of big things; of, especially, her immense doubt in regard to The Willows.

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text 2017-08-14 22:25
Everard Wemyss
Vera - Elizabeth von Arnim

The other end was filled with bookshelves from floor to ceiling, and the books, in neat rows and uniform editions, were packed so tightly in the shelves that no one but an unusually determined reader would have the energy to wrench one out. Reading was evidently not encouraged, for not only were the books shut in behind glass doors, but the doors were kept locked and the key hung on Wemyss's watch-chain.

Which tells us pretty much everything we need to know about Everard Wemyss.

 

 

'People are so untrustworthy about books. I took pains to arrange mine myself, and they're all in first-class-bindings and I don't want them taken out and left lying anywhere by Tom, Dick, and Harry. If any one wants to read they can come and ask me. Then I know exactly what is taken, and can see that it is put back.' And he held up the key on his watch-chain.

'But doesn't that rather discourage people?' asked Lucy, who was accustomed to the most careless familiarity in intercourse with books, to books loose everywhere, books overflowing out of their shelves, books in every room, instantly accessible books, friendly books, books used to being read aloud, with their hospitable pages falling open at a touch.

'All the better,' said Wemyss. 'I don't want anybody to read my books.'

 

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text 2017-08-02 13:03
As much as I am enjoying...
The Moonstone - Wilkie Collins
The Portrait of a Lady - Henry James,Patricia Crick
Vera - Elizabeth von Arnim
Indiana - Sylvia Raphael,Naomi Schor,George Sand

... my current reads, none of them are books I can enjoy when on the go or, indeed, on the commute.

 

So, I am looking for an audiobook to go play in the car on the way to and from work.

 

My shortlist of potential commuting reads are: The Moonstone, The Portrait of a Lady, Vera, or Indiana.

 

Does anyone have any thoughts on them?

 

I am looking to source them from Librivox, mostly because I can just leave the memory stick in the car and it will pick up at exactly the same location where I got to previously... the simple things...

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review 2017-04-21 17:05
The Enchanted April
The Enchanted April - Elizabeth von Arnim

Four women, strangers to one another, rent a medieval castle in Italy. Each one is fleeing from problems at home and in the midst of flowers, the sun and la dolce vita, their lives won´t ever be the same again.

 

This book is like a pandoras box full og joy and happiness and it took me completely by surprise. Suprise because I didn´t particularly like the first 90 pages.

The beginning of the book was rather slow and I have to admit that I was massivly annoyed by some of the characters, because I just couldn´t stand their entitlement. And then, all of a sudden, I became incredibly attached to the characters and the full impact of this attachment hit me in the face in the very last chapters of the book. Trust me, I´m not easily moved to tears, but at the end of this book I cried happy tears. 

And don´t get me started on the stunningly beautiful descriptions of castle and the flowers. I want to visit that place, it´s magical.

 

Book 3 of the Booklikes-opoly

Page count: 262 pages

Earned money: §3.00

New bank account: $29.00

 

 

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text 2017-04-20 17:15
Reading progress update: I've read 262 out of 262 pages.
The Enchanted April - Elizabeth von Arnim

Beautiful, charming, enchanting, wonderful, lovely. You want to know how I feel right now:

 

how i met your mother aww aw awww awwww GIF

[Source]

 

Full review is about to come.

 

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