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text 2014-09-06 23:15
A Small but Wonderful Virago Haul...Thank you Romain!

From the wonderfulness and generosity that is the LibraryThing Virago Modern Classics group, I recieved seven books in total: 3 original green, 2 Newer Italic Green, 1 Modern Cover and 1 Non-Virago by a virago author.  So many book hauls this summer! I am a happy camper.

My two semi-modern italic greens, with lovely floral covers by authors that I'm very excited to read for the first time.


Three original green Viragos, all of high interest! *claps* Added them to my Virago Marathon Reading List, once I'm finished Inkspell, Inkdeath, and Strump. Just to take a break from fantasy.

And finally, another Elizabeth Taylor in a modern style cover and a non-Virago by a Virago author. Lots of tea and reading and reviews to come!

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2013-12-11 12:33
Talk Of Angels
Talk of Angels - Kate O'Brien

This is one of my very favorite books.


Romantic?  Yes.  On every level.


Young, extremely beautiful Irish girl leaves her fiance, (who doesn't kiss very well) and travels to Spain for just one year so she can experience the real world before she gets married.  She takes a job as a governess to a rich, influential Spanish family, whose father and son have secret communistic dreams.  She becomes a "Miss" to three intelligent but boring Spanish girls and drives the other Irish "Misses" that work in her profession crazy with jealousy.  She even spurs one to confess her lesbian dreams of a romance with her.


She tastes Spanish life and it is very good indeed.  Bull fights, daily life, hot chocolate and beauty of the city she lives in.  Are you reading a travel guide, a romance, or a philosophical discourse of communism?  You are reading it all and it is much much better than my bare bones description of this book which was banned in Ireland when it was first published in 1937.


Go out and buy it and read it.  You won't be sorry.

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review 2012-03-19 00:00
The Last of Summer
The Last Of Summer - Kate O'Brien The best part of this book is the fact that Kate O’Brien allows the reader to feel sympathy towards these characters. Every character in this story is an emotional mess...every thought and feeling is an absolute. No one ever feels by halves. In some ways it’s tragic witnessing these characters deal with life and circumstance, especially when it’s immediately apparent that each character will be forced to go through some form of sacrifice, even the bitchy, overbearing matriarch Hannah.

I felt most attached to the poor child-like innocence of Tom, who was forced to become an adult at a young age, in effect losing his chance to really live. When a chance of escape appears, is it possible to take it, when in the process it’s very possible to lose everything that once was held so dear? Timing is important in regards to change....

The sacrifices for Jo and her brother Martin are more selfish in nature...using the excuse of “time” as a means to go forward with other plans. Especially in regards to Jo, the reason for self-denial is extreme, and one that I didn’t especially like. On the other hand, Martin’s is more psychologically interesting...a way for him to be closer to his one true desire.

Angelè, even though she’s the protagonist, serves more as a catalyst in this story. Her presence drives the story on and in some ways helps time to bring about change, even though in some ways, time does change her.

And then there’s Hannah. She’s the kind of woman who knowingly ignores everything around her, pretending she doesn’t know when she does, unless it happens to pertain to her number one son, Tom. I honestly don’t like her. Yet I liked how O’Brien portrayed her at the end. O’Brien allows the reader to ask the question, “Does she really get everything she wants?” I loved what Angelè says to Hannah at the end, as well as how that whole scene plays out. It’s good.
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