My next three books in 2018: a big ol’ “A”, the story of a young governess, and marrying for wrong reasons.
13. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short novel The Scarlet Letter has been on my shelf for a number of years – in fact, I have an 1893 edition as well as this more recent copy – but for some reason I put it off until now. It’s a short story of a woman marked for life for committing adultery by wearing an embroidered A on her clothing. She refuses to tell of who the other person in the act had been, but it’s quick to guess who it is and it’s just a matter of wondering how the secret will be released and what will happen afterward. It was sad, but it’s my kind of book – I enjoyed it. I really liked the parts describing the two parties’ feelings and reflections on their sin.
14. I’m pretty sure that the Brontë sisters could do no wrong. I finally read from Anne in her offering of Agnes Grey, which is largely autobiographical. The title character is a young woman who becomes a governess due to financial issues in the family. She works for two families, and her role as a governess places her in a strange, difficult, and awkward position between the servants and the masters. Agnes also has romantic feelings for another character, but a story wouldn’t be a story if it didn’t have problems in the way of love. I really liked Mr Weston and I cried at the “happily ever after” ending – I wish I could find a Mr Weston ‘IRL’. I loved this book, and I also really enjoyed selections of Anne’s poetry included in this edition.
15. I started my new job at around the same time I began this book, so it seemed to take a really long time to complete it (lots of evenings spent on naps, things to do around the house, and the occasional evening working on another small job). Oopsie. My third Thomas Hardy book was The Return of the Native, and I am still pleased and impressed with Hardy. This story is about a young man (the “native”) who returns to his country home from a wealthy and upscale life in Paris. He falls in love with an eccentric woman who is tired of the country and believes that he will take her away to glamorous Paris. This causes tension and frustration between the two, leading to tragedies and a pleasing-enough ending. I’m not usually much into lengthy descriptions of settings, but Hardy paints fabulous images of his country. Hardy also includes numerous mythological and historical references, which I enjoyed – and these Barnes & Noble Classics are excellent for giving brief explanations of a lot of these items and further piquing my interest to learn more elsewhere. I couldn’t stand Eustacia, and I liked the seemingly ever-present Venn. I recommend this book, and Thomas Hardy in general.
Bible reading: In April I read several New Testament epistles, as well as the OT books Joshua, Judges, Ruth, and 1 Samuel. In May I read 2 Samuel, then returned to NT with Acts.
I hope that everyone has a fun and safe Memorial Day weekend. So until next time… happy reading!