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review 2018-02-17 11:00
The Powerful Heritage of a Woman: The Loving Spirit by Daphne du Maurier
The Loving Spirit - Daphne du Maurier

In spite of its title, the novel The Loving Spirit isn’t just another one of those shallow romances set in the picturesque landscape of Cornwall that swamp the book market. Much rather the English novel from 1931 is a family saga with obvious echoes of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights and poetry.


Spanning a hundred years, it shows the fate of four generations of the Coombie family starting in 1830 with wild Janet whose boundless love not only marks her own life but also that of her descendants... including that of her unloved son who makes a fortune to gain power and have his revenge to the very last. But he can't destroy the strong seed that Janet planted.


Please click here to read my long review on Edith’s Miscellany!

Source: edith-lagraziana.blogspot.com
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review 2016-01-30 11:00
A Scotsman In Enemy England: Midwinter by John Buchan
MIDWINTER - John Buchan

Midwinter by John Buchan is a historical spy novel and it's a good book.


The story is set in the time of Bonnie Prince Charlie, more precisely during the Jacobite rising of 1745/46, and its protagonist is a captain of the Scottish army travelling through England to join his Prince in Scotland. On his way he realises that his assumed friends are actually his foes trying to get rid of him with all means because they betray the Jacobite cause. He is helped by a not yet famous Samuel Johnson and a mysterious man called "Midwinter" rescues him ever again from almost certain death.


I wrote a long review of the novel on my main book blog which you can find following the link to Edith's Miscellany.

Source: edith-lagraziana.blogspot.com
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url 2014-05-16 14:07
Spotlight on a Largely Overlooked Hungarian Writer: Dezső Kosztolányi

Authors writing in English have the edge on those tied to other tongues by their origins. They are more in number, their market is larger, they get more global attention and they are more likely to be translated into other languages. For writers from small language communities, on the other hand, it can be almost impossible to get noticed outside their own countries – it always was. Hungary with her comparatively exotic language is a good example: Dezső Kosztolányi was a writer of certain renown in his country during the Interwar Period and some of his works have even been published abroad, notably in Germany and France, but still he happens to be widely unknown to the world.


Dezső Kosztolányi was above all a journalist, a literary translator and a poet, but the prolific writer also produced several novels and many short stories, particularly from the 1920s until his death in 1936. Up to this day he is considered as one of the great masters of short prose because of the purity and lucidity of his style. In his narratives he mixes humour and melancholy displaying subtle irony as well as tenderness. Moreover, his literary work is marked by a deep insight into the human soul torn between conscious decisions and unconscious urges as well as by a precise analysis of human relations. In a nutshell: it’s high time to bring some attention to his life and his work!


Click here to read my portrait of this Hungarian writer.

Source: edith-lagraziana.blogspot.com
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review 2013-10-13 08:04
Fallen for a Gambler in Monaco: Twenty-Four Hours in the Life of a Woman by Stefan Zweig
Twenty Four Hours in the Life of a Woman & The Royal Game - Stefan Zweig,Anthea Bell

Monaco is a tiny principality at the Riviera, a modern city state attracting the rich and the glamorous as well as social climbers and tourists who just want to taste high life. Well-to-do people always loved the place and had the habit of spending money lavishly there – not least in the casinos of Monte Carlo. Since 1856 the country has been a gamblers’ paradise which easily turns into a hell for those who become addicted and lose more than they can afford. Such doomed characters have also found their way into literature. One of them is a young Polish-Austrian aristocrat whose presence at the roulette table accounts for special Twenty-Four Hours in the Life of a Woman which Stefan Zweig tells in his novella.


The protagonist of Twenty-Four Hours in the Life of a Woman is a distinguished Englishwoman of sixty-seven who one night in 1904 tells the young narrator an embarrassing episode from her life hoping that this confession of a sort will ease her conscience. He listens to her story which took place in Monte Carlo sometime around 1880. In the casino she passed her time observing the hands of the gamblers at the roulette table as her late husband had taught her. One night the eloquent hands of a young man scarcely older than her own two sons attracted her attention and she couldn’t let go of them anymore. She didn’t know then that the gambler they belonged to was a Polish-Austrian aristocrat, nor could she imagine that the encounter would put her life upside-down for twenty-four hours and make her jeopardize her good reputation in order to save him from himself. She couldn't help plunging into the adventure, but as it turned out it isn't as easy to reform a gambler as she had thought.


Twenty-Four Hours in the Life of a Woman is written in the typical style of its time of origin in the late 1920s. In German the diction of Stefan Zweig is characteristic of the Interwar Period and sounds slightly antiquated today, but the writer definitely succeeds in drawing the reader into his story with much ease as well as skill. It may not be the best of Stefan Zweig’s works, but definitely worth the time reading it!


For the full review please click here to visit my literature blog Edith's Miscellany.

Source: edith-lagraziana.blogspot.com
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