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Lcsmcat

Lcsmcat

Joined May 2016

review
Lcsmcat
Dreamers of the Day: A Novel | Mary Doria Russell
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Pickpick

My pacifist heart loved this book and cried over it in equal measure. Featuring Gertrude Bell, whom I first met years ago in Wallace‘s Desert Queen, T E Lawrence, and Winston Churchill as minor characters, the protagonist is witness to the Cairo Conference and its fallout that we are still experiencing. The story is engaging, and the final chapter provides much to think about. And Rosie the dachshund steals the show. #bookspin #24in2024

Jas16 Sounds really interesting. 3d
Lcsmcat @Jas16 It was, and very well written. 3d
KathyWheeler This book was the first time I‘d heard of Gertrude Bell. It was an interesting story. 3d
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TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 2d
Lcsmcat @KathyWheeler She‘s portrayed more sympathetically in 2d
KathyWheeler @Lcsmcat Thanks. I‘ll have to check that out. 2d
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review
Lcsmcat
The Ivy Tree | Mary Stewart
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Pickpick

Mary Stewart is a go-to when I need a comfort read, and this did not disappoint.

blurb
Lcsmcat
The Children | Edith Wharton
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Some preliminary thoughts. Rose is of the Old New York - staying in her unhappy marriage and arranging things, always calm and dignified. The elder Wheaters are the worst of the nouveau riche - marrying and divorcing on a whim and chasing the latest pleasure. Martin was born into Rose‘s world, but he doesn‘t live there. He runs off to make his fortune, loving an image of her (and an image of Joyce). Judith acts as a catalyst to reveal all this.

Lcsmcat All of them made me uncomfortable, for different reasons. And did we get the typical unhappy Wharton ending? #whartonbuddyread 4d
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Lcsmcat Photo from an eBay listing for the 1928 edition. I just loved that dust jacket! 4d
Currey @Lcsmcat love the dust jacket: “In a world of easy divorce…” makes it sound like a pot boiler. 4d
Lcsmcat @Currey Doesn‘t it? I was highly amused. 4d
Currey @Lcsmcat In regards the ending, I was left believing that the children would be fine, they may never rise above their odd up bringing but they were resilient. Judith would probably marry although she was sure she would not. Joyce even seemed to have found a place that gave her some escape from the crazy world (of her own making). That leaves Rose and Martin. 4d
Lcsmcat @Currey I feel like Rose and Martin were just as damaged by their upbringing as the children were, but of course in a different way. Is Wharton suggesting how difficult it is to escape one‘s rearing? 4d
Currey @Lcsmcat Would Rose have married Dobree if she thought she was free? Dobree seemed vaguely interested in her between eyeing Judith and before courting Judith‘s mother. They would have made nice Old World New York partners. Although I think Rose really did care for Martin whereas Martin cared for some image he had of Rose not the person herself (edited) 4d
Currey @Lcsmcat Martin did escape somewhat when he was off building bridges or such things far away from New York. He was also good with the children as he took it on as a job. Wharton saying you can only escape so far and you will pay for it in the end? 4d
Lcsmcat @Currey I don‘t think Martin and Rose would have been happy, although Rose wouldn‘t admit it. But I‘m not sure how she and Dobree would have got on. He seemed to want more (as evidenced by his going for Joyce.) And Marin was definitely better at loving images he created than real people. All those conversations where he played both parts! 4d
batsy I'm mostly in agreement with your thoughts. I was so disturbed by how calm and unflappable Rose was, the cost of always maintaining tact and discretion. I think Wharton meant to show Old NY values as a prison of sorts, that Martin was running away from. The children left me feeling sad—although we do see Judith from Martin's melancholy POV, the fact that he catches a glimpse of sadness on her face makes me wonder if she's doomed to playing a role. 4d
Graywacke Sorry all. I finished, but i‘ve had no power since a storm wiped out part of Houston‘s power system Thursday evening. So, i‘ll come back later. Saving phone battery. 4d
Lcsmcat @Graywacke I wondered if that affected you. Stay safe! 4d
Lcsmcat @batsy I too think Martin was running away from the old NY prison, but his attraction to Rose and his ruminations on his Uncle‘s adventures makes me think he couldn‘t quite get away. 4d
Lcsmcat @batsy The book opens and closes with Martin alone, but I‘m not sure “lonely” equals “sad.” With the kids, though we don‘t get to know really how they turn out, I don‘t have high hopes. The dearth of any education for the girls limits them even more than the society of the time would. And the boys aren‘t much better. 4d
CarolynM I read it all at once so you‘re getting all my thoughts here. The children‘s plight was truly heartbreaking & I could sympathize with Martin wanting to help, but it was a doomed enterprise from the start. I particularly felt for Judith, forced to take on so much responsibility so young while her parents avoided all responsibility. Was the title intended to highlight the childishness of the parents too? ⬇️ 4d
CarolynM I liked the way Wharton dealt with the relationship between M & J. Given that it was not unusual at that time for teenage girls to marry much older men & she was only just short of marriageable age I could understand why he occasionally slipped into thinking of her that way, then felt bad about it. I also liked that she was so oblivious. ⬇️ 4d
CarolynM The end was so sad. The poor steps being subjected to the nutty child rearing theories of the Lohengrin College (Princess Buondelmonte was hilarious and infuriating all at once) & poor little Chip! (edited) 4d
Lcsmcat @CarolynM I loved that Judith was oblivious too. It made it better somehow. I hadn‘t thought of the title as referring to the parents too, but it makes sense. 4d
Lcsmcat @CarolynM The Princess was a hoot . I loved how the kids took her down a peg! 4d
cindyash @CarolynM Oh I thought the title definitly was for the parents as well. And Martin reminds me of the old chestnut “the road to hell is paved with good intentions. “ 4d
cindyash @Lcsmcat yes that was probably my fav part! also thought about giving parents advice not sure thats gotten any better 4d
batsy @CarolynM I liked that as I read it Martin became more complicated, and less of a creep as I first read him in the early section. A testament to Wharton's ability to shade her characters with nuance and complexity. 4d
Lcsmcat @batsy @CarolynM Wharton did an excellent job of showing Martin‘s inner state, especially in a book not told in first person. He did become more sympathetic. But so clueless! How did he think he could actually change those parents‘ behavior? 3d
jewright This was interesting to me because as a teacher I constantly see kids ripped in and out of homes and schools in parents‘ unstable relationships. I guess it sadly isn‘t only a recent problem. I really thought Martín and Judith would get married, so I was surprised by the ending. 3d
Graywacke (No power, but better internet connection) - @Lcsmcat I like your analysis a lot in the initial post. I hadn‘t thought of it that way. My 1st thought on finishing is that without Martin‘s attraction to a 15-yr-old, this book has not drive. That awkward tension makes the book work…and is really the only thing that makes it work. If i had that right, feels odd. 3d
Graywacke @batsy etc - for what it‘s worth, i grew to really appreciate Rose. Her unfeeling goddess of always correct judgement was clearly only on the outside. She had feelings, she tried. Martin was a mess. I think Rose handled it all with a lot of grace. 3d
Graywacke @Lcsmcat etc - I also found Martin‘s internal mental mess well done and interesting. He never understood what he wanted. Even at the end, he is as lost as he was in the beginning. His thoughts tell us what he couldn‘t understand. 3d
Graywacke @Currey @CarolynM etc - here is an alternate view of Judith - she managed Martin like she managed everything else. She knew all Rose knew, and she knew and worked Martin‘s attraction. And when he crossed the line, she knew exactly how to play to disarm him. And when he was off to London, she knew he was gone and that his usefulness has played out. So she went along with his promise to return. Just a thought. Could be (I imagine). 3d
Graywacke @cindyash were Martin‘s intentions always good? (He really was in a state of denial. Maybe several denials.) 3d
Graywacke @jewright Economics plays a role in these broken families. Wealthy families can be cruel (although it takes intent, like here). But poverty is a lot different. 3d
Currey @Graywacke I like thinking about your alternative take on Judith. Perhaps she did know all that was going on in Martin‘s mess of a mind and just played him. That is an even more cynical reading. (edited) 3d
Lcsmcat @Currey @Graywacke While I don‘t want Judith to be that cynical, it makes sense, given all she had been exposed to in her young life. And I do like to think of her taking control. Who among us women hasn‘t had to “manage” an older man at some point? And I know I did it by playing dumb (instead of reporting him like I wish I had!) (edited) 3d
CarolynM @Graywacke @Currey Um…I really don‘t think there‘s anything to suggest Judith is that calculating. I wouldn‘t have thought that laughing at Martin when he indicated he might be interested in her would be a good play if she were. 3d
CarolynM @batsy Yes, at first I was very unsure about Martin‘s intentions, but I think he was trying do the right thing by the children. 2d
Graywacke @CarolynM i was thinking laughing was the perfect defuser. No one gets insulted because it turns the proposal into funny suggestion. 2d
Lcsmcat @CarolynM @Graywacke I guess it depends on _what_ she was calculating. If the idea was to avoid marriage with Martin but not lose his friendship/protection, I think she did pretty well. 2d
Graywacke @Lcsmcat i think she was just using Martin for a while. I don‘t think she was mean or conniving, just taking advantage of his willingness to help. She handles the princess quite well and that was serious. She saw right through Rose‘s formality. Judith, to me, was a sharp one. 2d
Lcsmcat @Graywacke Never mean. Conniving maybe. Certainly clever - she couldn‘t have watched the adults around her without learning something of how to get her way. And stealing the money to run away is a character defining moment. 1d
Graywacke @Lcsmcat good point on the stealing! I hadn‘t connected that. 1d
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blurb
Lcsmcat
Happy Litsyversary! | Special Events
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Y‘all, I can‘t believe it‘s been 8 years! This community has brought me so much joy. Thank you all for being here. ❤️

IuliaC Happy Litsyversary! 🎉📚 1w
mrp27 Happy Litsyversary! 🎉📚🎉📚 (edited) 1w
TheBookHippie How wonderful 📚📚📚📚 1w
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dabbe HL! 💙🩵💙 1w
batsy Happy Litsyversary! And thank you for all your work on our author group reads 🙂📚 1w
Deblovestoread Happy Litsyversary 🎉🎉🎉 1w
Jas16 Happy Litsyversary 🙌🏽📚🎉 1w
BarbaraJean Happy Litsyversary!! So glad you‘re here! 🎉💜📚 1w
LeahBergen 🎉🎉🎉 1w
Monica5 Happy Litsyversary 🎉 1w
julesG Happy Litsyversary! 🎉🎉 1w
Librarybelle Happy Litsyversary! 1w
Ddzmini Happy Litsyversary 🎉🎊🥳📚 1w
Lcsmcat @batsy Thanks! I get more out of them than I put into them. 😀 1w
CarolynM Thank you Linda. You are a big part of making Litsy a great place. Happy Litsyversary🎉 (edited) 1w
Lcsmcat @CarolynM I feel the same way about you. Thanks for being my book-friend. 1w
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review
Lcsmcat
What to Eat | Marion Nestle
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Pickpick

A good compilation of solid advice, most of which I knew, but also a look inside the pressures put on us by Big Food. I was a little surprised that she didn‘t suggest buying directly from farmers, which is how I deal with it. But it‘s aimed at a larger audience I suppose that may not have access to farmers markets and CSAs.

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Lcsmcat
The Children | Edith Wharton
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Sorry for the late post - it‘s been a morning. 🙄
We seem to be following Martin to a place we were all hoping he wouldn‘t go, and he‘s deluding himself about. What role does Mrs. Sellarshave in this - is she pushing him that way even as she dreads it? And how does Mr. Dobree‘s visit impact Roseand Martin‘s relationship with? #WhartonBuddyRead

Graywacke Martin is a mess. It‘s an interesting, if frustrating, look at his internal contradictions and inability to see what we can see. Rose is somewhat heroic here, managing and putting up with Martin. Of course there‘s more to that in Rose, prompted as she is by some jealousy. Still, she‘s being way more than reasonable. 2w
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Currey @Lcsmcat We all seem to be having that kind of day! Martin is certainly more aware and working harder at keeping up the delusion regarding his feelings toward Judith. He knows he is being foolish. Mrs Sellars has her own delusions about her relationship with Martin. Martin‘s comment about loving Mrs Sellars the most when he isn‘t with her as he can then provide both sides of the dialogue really summed it up for me. (edited) 2w
Graywacke I‘m of two minds of Martin on Judith. In many ways he is between normal caring and in-love with Judith and he honestly doesn‘t know where his emotions truly are. In many ways he has a father‘s or brother‘s affection. But also he‘s the leering fool he imagined he observed the doctor to be. Clearly his affection for Judith has washed out his love of Rose, but it‘s a different kind of affection. 👇 2w
Graywacke 👆 Since he doesn‘t seem to know what it is, perhaps we can‘t know either. But we probably can know more than him. He‘s a mess. (edited) 2w
Graywacke @Currey Martin‘s way of handling women? He prefers to think for them. Or, her prefers to mute their concerns… ?? 2w
Lcsmcat @Currey We all win those arguments, don‘t we? And as to him loving her most when not with her, I almost used this quote “He knew now how much she loved him—but did he know how much he loved her?” 2w
Lcsmcat @Graywacke I think he‘s convinced that he‘s being avuncular, but because he wants to be convinced. 2w
Leftcoastzen I think Mrs Sellar is tired of all this nonsense. 2w
Leftcoastzen I think though he‘s all over the place with his feelings for Judith & Rose , he seems to really care about the children. Made me ponder people I know who I think would be great parents who never had kids & terrible parents who shouldn‘t have had them! 2w
Graywacke @Leftcoastzen I wonder at how Wharton‘s own childlessness plays in. Martin is discovering how much he really wanted children. Whereas Rose doesn‘t betray emotions of this sort one way or the other. (Is Rose young enough to still have children?) (edited) 2w
Lcsmcat @Graywacke I get the impression Rose is on the edge of being able to have kids, but it‘s just a feeling. I think Wharton is being much kinder to the children than to any of the adults, so you might have a point. 2w
CarolynM Still lagging behind, I‘m afraid. Hopefully I‘ll catch up for the final discussion. 2w
batsy After calling him creepy in the first section, this is the part that made me like and empathise with Martin. I think he's unsure about how he feels about Judith (and maybe some of those feelings are a tad dodgy), but I like that the narrative places the reader within his confusion and genuine care, so to speak. "The fact is, we're none of us grown up" and "hugging himself for being on the children's side of the eternal barrier" made me like him. 1w
Lcsmcat @CarolynM Jump in whenever you can. I always like your insights. 1w
Lcsmcat @batsy I get that. Martin is a bit of a Peter Pan, but I don‘t think that gives him license to mess up Judith‘s life. She obviously doesn‘t feel toward him that way, given her excitement at his engagement. And he would be just one more adult unsettling these kids‘ lives. 1w
batsy @Lcsmcat Oh yes, the Peter Pan comparison is perfect. 1w
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review
Lcsmcat
This Is Happiness | Niall Williams
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Pickpick

Soaked in symbolism and the most beautiful prose you can imagine, this lovely book is the opposite of a page-turner. It‘s a slow-down-and-savor, experience in all your senses kind of book. I loved it and wanted to highlight every other sentence. Highly recommend! Number13 for#24in2024 and my irl book club pick.

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Lcsmcat
The Children | Edith Wharton
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We get a little more of the Wharton bite in this Book. She‘s kinder to the children than to their parents. I was reminded of Pauline and her schedule (from Twilight Sleep) in the last section. Still, I don‘t know what to make of Martin. I don‘t think he‘s exactly being honest with himself regarding Judith. Thoughts? #whartonbuddyread

Currey @Lcsmcat Unlike others, I really thought that Martin would pull himself away from “liking” Judith after Book 1. I just didn‘t read it as that creepy. However, Wharton is clearly leading us to keep questioning his intentions and his motivations. So now I am thinking I read him incorrectly. 3w
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Currey @Lcsmcat The children are more impossible and yet Wharton clearly makes their escape escapade seem totally reasonable given the state of their parents. 3w
Currey @Lcsmcat And unfortunately Mrs Sellars is portrayed as very “staid” and I would have liked for one adult to be quite thoroughly upright AND likable (edited) 3w
Lcsmcat @Currey Yes, I don‘t have much hope for Mrs. Sellers helping anything. She‘s more likely to be a complication. 3w
arubabookwoman i agree that Martin is definitely heading toward creepy (and Mrs Sellars isn't discouraging that). And the parents and their cohorts are being portrayed as acting so badly as to be caricatures, and no longer based in reality. Despite this, I still like the book, and am going along with Wharton for the ride. (I have read this before). 3w
batsy I had some hope in Mrs. Sellars when she meets Judith and says Judith is too young "for her responsibilities" because it's finally an adult seeing the truth but it didn't quite amount to much. I feel bad for these kids. This is a weird book (not a bad thing) but I'm just not sure what I make of it yet. 3w
Lcsmcat @batsy I can‘t figure how Wharton is going to end this one. 3w
Graywacke @batsy “it‘s a weird book” - borderline farce, no? But it hasn‘t crossed that line. The Lodi adults are both caricatures and a playful attack. 3w
Graywacke Goodness, i still like foolish Martin and his manipulation by Judith. @Currey Mrs. Sellars is really disappointing. Why are they engaged if they don‘t like each other, but just have a friendly fondness? (They barely touch each other…or want to) Oh right, Wharton‘s characters don‘t communicate 🙂 3w
Leftcoastzen I think Mrs. Sellers knows it‘s better to not get involved, she‘s “retired “ more or less. She and Martin , are they settling? I too , sense it‘s a question of them not ending up alone instead renewing a passion. Once Martin started advocating for the kids , Judith would see him as a lifeline. Is he too interested in Judith? We shall see. 2w
Leftcoastzen And the parents! They want to see these kids now & then , show them off like little trophies, then put them down letting them fend for themselves, with meager hired help. No wonder the kids cling to each other. 2w
cindyash @Leftcoastzen the parents may be caricatures, but while I think Wharton is having fun with them but I do believe theres a germ of truth in what she writes Ive taught childre of these kind of parents. so I wasnt really surprised

Martin is such an interesting character, you usually dont see men in this time getting involved so much with the children. I wonder if she has a person in mind like that
2w
Leftcoastzen @cindyash I wondered too if Wharton knew a man like that . I keep thinking they are rich , why don‘t they just send them to boarding school, then I think about the stories about negative experiences in boarding school!🤨 2w
batsy @Graywacke Yes, it's playing with the line of farce and social commentary. Hence the Twilight mood seems heightened here, a dash of Fitzgerald, but she dials it down with Martin's inner voice. 2w
Lcsmcat @batsy I like “dash of Fitzgerald “ - very apt. Wharton seems to have turned a corner from criticizing the staid “old New York” to critiquing the newer rich. I agree that it is Martin‘s inner voice that grounds the story and keeps it from being farce. But he‘s also the most fully-realized character, with all the others more or less two dimensional which makes me wonder if she‘s actually doing more of a character study on him than 👇🏻 2w
Lcsmcat 👆🏻 social commentary on the rich - nouveau or otherwise. 2w
Lcsmcat @Leftcoastzen @cindyash I had the boarding school thought too. But the parents don‘t seem to value education enough to even warrant that much effort. 2w
cindyash @Lcsmcat hee really not sure which book it is but one parent was shocked to find that Morroco wasnt in South Africa “well then where is it Id like to know“ 2w
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blurb
Lcsmcat
Dreamers of the Day: A Novel | Mary Doria Russell
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My #bookspin and #doublespin for May. Although the way this spring is going I may be lucky to finish just one. @TheAromaofBooks

TheAromaofBooks Yay!! Enjoy!! 3w
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blurb
Lcsmcat
Shakespeare: The Man Who Pays the Rent | Judi Dench, Brendan O'Hea
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My husband, who totally gets me, gifted my with a signed copy of the tagged book. So of course I put it on my #bookspin for May. 🙂

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 3w
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blurb
Lcsmcat
The Children | Edith Wharton
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It took four chapters before the “nursery tangle” gets untangled, but at last, the cast of the title characters is revealed. What do you make of Judith? Martin? And the parents (when we finally meet them.) Wharton has addressed the neglect of the children of the rich as an aside in previous books, but I don‘t think she‘s going to let the adults off the hook in this one. #whartonbuddyread

Lcsmcat Two quotes that I marked: “The Wheaters he knew must have been married nearly twenty years ago; and Cliffe Wheater, in the interval, had made money enough to treat himself to half-a-dozen divorces and remarriages, with all the attendant outlay.” 4w
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Lcsmcat “And yet he was disappointed, for he was already busy at the masculine task of endowing the woman of the moment with every quality which made life interesting to himself.” (Martin of Judith in the church.) 4w
Suet624 I started this and then it got yanked away from me (Hoopla). I was fascinated by the cast of characters and was just getting the hang of them all. Hope to be able to get it back soon 4w
Lcsmcat @Suet624 You almost need a chart, don‘t you? 4w
Suet624 That would definitely be helpful. 😊 4w
Currey @Lcsmcat I am also enjoying Mr Boyne. Because he has a bit of a crush on Judith he sees her maturity until they are in the cathedral where he realizes she isn‘t fully formed intellectually at all. He sees the children as individuals not just a gang and he largely sympathizes with them over the irresponsible adults 4w
arubabookwoman i kept remembering Suzy and Nick in Glimpses of the Moon in the borrowed villa in which the daughter of the wealthy owner was abandoned while she was off on a fling. Wharton here is going to explore further the plight of the children of her wealthy dilettantes. Judith intrigues me. How did she become so mature and commensensical at such a young age, esp. with such parents--none of the younger children seems to have that trait. 4w
arubabookwoman but it is great how Wharton has made each of the children individuals, with distinct personalities, even in the little bit we've seen of them so far. Was anyone else surprised that the young boy Terry was placed in a room with a complete stranger on the boat? And that once reunited with their parents the children were housed in a different hotel? (edited) 4w
Lcsmcat @arubabookwoman I too thought of the little girl in Glimpses of the Moon. 4w
Graywacke Just taking in names and relationships and trying to understand motives and wondering what it would be like being one of these kids cruising around Europe. Wharton seems to be having fun with charm and a maybe more resigned social critique. Martin isn‘t being honest with himself or his motivations. I did think it was funny when the nanny reveals to us that they‘re manipulating Martin. 4w
Leftcoastzen The poor little rich girl/ boy idea comes to mind . The children are worldly in a way because they have been so many places though most would agree the attention & love from parents is so important and totally lacking. One of the kids said something that made me Lol early in the book. Should have written it down. 4w
jewright I‘m sympathizing with poor Terry who just wants a tutor, so he can learn like other boys. I see irresponsible parents every day as a teacher. I‘m not sure if it‘s comforting or discouraging that they‘ve always existed. 4w
Leftcoastzen And to Judith. The family is lucky to have her yet she has no opportunity to have had normal personal experiences as an individual adolescent & teen as she is all about caring for the little ones. 4w
batsy There's a different quality to Wharton's writing here that I find interesting. Can't quite put my finger on it but it's reminding me of British middlebrow fiction (all the Furrowed Middlebrow imprint books :) There's a part of me that's cringing in earnest about Martin's obsession with Judith because of the age gap. Very icky. The part where Judith says she won't have time to read or do anything really because she'll have to care for the children! 4w
batsy @arubabookwoman Yes! Good memory, because I'd forgotten about that until you brought it up 🙂 This does have some similarities in tone and mood to Moon. 4w
Lcsmcat @batsy I‘m struggling to put my finger on the difference in Wharton‘s tone. Less biting maybe? I‘ll have to ponder this more. The potential for a Martin-Judith relationship has me cringing too, but it feels like maybe he‘s moving away from that and realizing how young she really is. 4w
Lcsmcat @jewright Poor Terry! No one recognizes what he has to offer because he isn‘t what they expect him to be. But he‘s so self possessed and aware of what _he_ needs. I really like him. The “foreign” steps make me laugh, Zinnie is harder for me to like, but I‘m trying to keep an open heart. 4w
Lcsmcat @Leftcoastzen Judith has a bad bargain for sure. And you wonder if this kind of childhood leads to the selfish adult behavior. Kind of a “I didn‘t get to do these things as a kid so I‘m going to do them now” idea? 4w
Graywacke @Lcsmcat @batsy - on the writing - the less biting tone - I think much of Wharton‘s writing had ambitious intents - to establish her, to shock NY, to share her experiences, to look back on her history, to look at (and undermine?) her own optimism. But none of that is here. She‘s an established best-selling writer. She has pressed. Here she‘s indulging herself and experimenting on more subtle ways. This is my unedited thinking out loud. 4w
Graywacke @Lcsmcat @batsy on Martin and Judith - we have seen Wharton‘s courtships and they can begin this way, with no intent. No conscious admission of courting by either person. So she‘s playing hard with an improper relationship. Safe on the surface, but readers are thinking about it, whether we want to or not. It‘s weird… And I‘m pretty sure she wants us thinking about it, and to be a little uncomfortable. 4w
Graywacke @arubabookwoman @Leftcoastzen @batsy @Lcsmcat What bothers me most about Judith is that everyone is ok with her fate and role. Terry needs a tutor, but Judith can just be nanny. Well, of course. I don‘t sense much tension there in writer or characters. (And why doesn‘t the nanny, you know, nanny? Shouldn‘t she take charge?) 4w
Lcsmcat @Graywacke Oh she definitely wants us to think about a Martin - Judith relationship! (Thus the quote I posted above.) My question is whether or not Martin will be/become aware enough to leave her alone. 4w
Lcsmcat @Graywacke Judith has her hands full with more than the kids. She‘s got to manage the servants and they‘re taking advantage of the fact that their ostensible employers aren‘t interested in paying attention. And Judith seems resigned to her fate, doesn‘t she? It‘s almost like Terry‘s illness gave him power that none of the others have to just be himself. 4w
Leftcoastzen @Lcsmcat @Graywacke I agree totally! As I read In my brain I‘m yelling the hired help needs to do their jobs!😄poor Judith managing that too. Families can be like that , giving no cares about Judith‘s fate & role. 4w
Leftcoastzen I love how Wharton seems to find a character to feature that has an old association with someone & gets drawn into a hot mess like this. Martin is in over his head . 4w
Lcsmcat @Leftcoastzen Good observation. Wharton does explore “loose ties” in a lot of her fiction. 4w
TheBookHippie I like Judith. I too wondered if or what we are suppose yo be thinking. This feels like being told a story rather than in the story if that makes sense. It seems stage is set but for what? 4w
Lcsmcat @TheBookHippie Interesting that you feel outside of the story. I feel like we‘re sort of in Martin‘s mind, but that he himself isn‘t as aware as he could be. Coming from the “wilderness” he is meant to see through the eyes of an outsider, but he‘s also an insider. 4w
TheBookHippie @Lcsmcat I know -what does that say about me 😅 4w
batsy @Lcsmcat @Graywacke Less biting for sure & I think @TheBookHippie nails it in terms of stage setting. It's early days yet but this first part still feels introductory. We get glimpses of the usual astute Wharton when she allows us into Martin's mind (Though I don't quite like all that I find in there! The idea of the moldable young woman; her innocence and lack of interest in what moves him, but caring for kids animates her. Yeah ok, Martin! 🤢) 4w
batsy @Graywacke Agreed—the adults seem far too comfortable with how much Judith has to take on. 4w
cindyash @arubabookwoman I was so surprised how well she drew those children! Wasnt expecting that somehow, Also showing Boyne to be so caring, . Quite the difference from the parents. Just awful people. 3w
cindyash @Leftcoastzen yeah some one need to remind him the road to hell is paved with good intentions But what a wonderful thing he is doing? good role model for the kids. the parent could take a few lessons from him 3w
Lcsmcat @cindyash She portrays the kids so lovingly in all their individuality that it makes me think Wharton must have known children like them. 3w
21 likes36 comments
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Lcsmcat
The Children | Edith Wharton
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Quick reminder that discussions start next Saturday! #Whartonbuddyread

Graywacke Ok, ebook acquired. I‘ve started. 1mo
See All 20 Comments
IMASLOWREADER oh cool 1mo
CarolynM I‘ll try to join in, but I still haven‘t finished Twilight Sleep 😬 My reading is not what it should be. 1mo
batsy I haven't started but will try my best! 1mo
Currey @batsy @Lcsmcat Along with Betsy, I have not started but I did note that Book 1 is short. 1mo
Lcsmcat @Currey It is short, but so far the characters are intriguing. 1mo
Lcsmcat @TheBookHippie Thanks! I always forget about them for fiction. (I use them a lot for genealogy resources.) 1mo
Graywacke @Lcsmcat - please add @cindyash to the tag list. Thanks 1mo
Graywacke @CarolynM i hope you‘re able to enjoy what you‘re reading. Twilight Sleep has a curious and maybe entertaining end. 1mo
Currey @batsy Apologies for the autocorrect changing your name to Betsy. When I went to fix it Litsy went down and I gave up. 1mo
batsy @Currey No worries at all, it's a username based on a silly nickname friends gave me in school 😆 1mo
Graywacke @Lcsmcat hmm. My edition has a Book iv. Is it incorrect or do we need to adjust the schedule? Maybe add a week? 4w
Lcsmcat @Graywacke I‘ll take a look when I get home from work, but I can certainly add another week. 4w
Lcsmcat @Graywacke Yep. Don‘t know how I missed that, but we will add Book 4 on May 18. Good catch! 4w
Graywacke @Lcsmcat Good solution. And glad I‘m not crazy. 🙂 4w
29 likes20 comments
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Lcsmcat
This Is Happiness | Niall Williams
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Springtime and a good book. This is happiness. 😀

review
Lcsmcat
Angela's Ashes: A Memoir | Frank McCourt
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Pickpick

This was so popular when it came out (when my kids were in Catholic school.) But I‘m one to be wary of hype, and I put it off. But I shouldn‘t have. It‘s tragic, and funny, and very well written. Number 12 of #24in2024, and #bookspin for April. @TheAromaofBooks @Jas16

Amiable Such a fabulous book 1mo
BarbaraJean I‘ve been wanting to re-read this one! I read it during all the hype, and then picked up ‘Tis and Teacher Man over the years, because Angela‘s Ashes was so good. I still haven‘t read those other two, and feel like I need to circle back to this one before I do! 1mo
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo! 1mo
Lcsmcat @BarbaraJean Both of the sequels are on my shelf. I‘m a little wary because often memoirs of childhood work when those from later years don‘t. So I‘ll be eager to see what you think of them. 1mo
42 likes4 comments
review
Lcsmcat
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Pickpick

Lisa See returns again and again to brutal stories of female friendships destroyed by misunderstanding. Every bit as difficult to read as Snow Flower, and as meticulously researched. I learned a lot about haenyeo and the fate of Korea before and after WWII. A pick for my irl book club, and number 11 for #24in2024.

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Lcsmcat
The Children | Edith Wharton
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Good morning #whartonbuddyread! Are we ready for the Children? (Is anyone ever really ready for children? 😂) This one‘s just under 300 pages and divided into 3 books. I‘m proposing starting April 27 for Book 1, May 4 and 11 for books 2 & 3. Does that work for everyone?

arubabookwoman i'm looking forward to this one. It's typical Wharton in many ways, but a darker theme--how the children, of the rich adults we've seen so much of, fare, as they are dragged around the world, but basically ignored, with constantly changing step-parents and step siblings and half siblings. When I read it years ago there are parts that reminded me of Lolita, to the extent I wondered if Nabokov had it in mind. 1mo
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batsy Looking forward to it. Things are a bit hectic atm but I'll try my best to join in and keep to the schedule! 1mo
Lcsmcat @arubabookwoman Interesting thought. I‘ll keep that in the back of my mind as I read. 1mo
Lcsmcat @batsy Same here. What‘s up with this spring? 1mo
Graywacke Sounds good @Lcsmcat ! I‘ll likely be quiet May 4, traveling. But this schedule works for me. Wish you and @batsy RL breaks. 1mo
TheBookHippie Crazy busy but yes. 😵‍💫🙃 1mo
Currey Sounds okay to me. Thanks 1mo
batsy @Graywacke Thanks 🙂 1mo
Lcsmcat @Graywacke Thanks. Chime in when you can, and safe travels. 1mo
Suet624 I keep missing out on reading these. 🥴😫 1mo
Lcsmcat @Suet624 Join us this time! It‘s a shorter one. 1mo
Suet624 @Lcsmcat my problem lies in finding the book! Hoopla has it but I literally have to wake up at 2 am to grab it before the daily collective quota allowed for the entire library system is hit. It‘s weird. I‘ll try though. 🤨 1mo
Lcsmcat @Suet624 I have the entire works of Edith Wharton as an ebook that cost 1.99 (I think. It might have been .99) Or you could try Project Gutenberg. I‘m not sure if it‘s under copyright still or not. 1mo
Suet624 Shoot. I always forget about Project Gutenberg. I‘ll check that out now. 1mo
jewright I‘m in! 1mo
jewright @Suet624–I bought the Kindle complete works. It was pretty inexpensive and has had everything. 1mo
Suet624 @jewright Thanks! However, I don‘t use Kindle because it‘s owned by Amazon. I know…my little protest amounts to nothing really, but I try not to give amazon any money. 1mo
Lcsmcat @jewright Great! 1mo
CarolynM I will try to join in, but I was lagging behind on Twilight Sleep all the way and I still haven‘t finished, so I‘ll just have to see how I‘m going at the end of the month🙂 1mo
Leftcoastzen I will try to keep up this time . 1mo
39 likes1 stack add24 comments
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Lcsmcat
Angela's Ashes: A Memoir | Frank McCourt
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Enjoying the mild weather while it lasts, I‘m starting my #bookspin outside with an adult beverage and dried veggies.

42 likes1 stack add
review
Lcsmcat
The Bingo Palace | Louise Erdrich
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Pickpick

Like @Centique said, this is not my favorite of the Love Medicine novels. Many characters are difficult to love, and there is less humor and more relentless depression. But I did love Fleur‘s final act. And I think I know what happened with Lipsha, but would love to discuss with anyone else who has read this. Number 10 for #24in2024 @Jas16

Jas16 Still haven‘t read this one. I need to. 2mo
Centique Im glad someone else has read this book! Whats your theory about Lipsha? 2mo
Lcsmcat @Centique I‘m wondering if she meant us to think he got away with it by being perceived as his father‘s hostage. 🤷🏻‍♀️ 2mo
Centique @Lcsmcat oh i like that theory. I was wondering if theyd all died because he saw his mothers ghost again - but i much prefer thinking he got out of there 2mo
31 likes4 comments
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Lcsmcat
Untitled | Untitled
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Sharing my April #bookspin now because Holy Week is about to get crazy-busy. I can‘t believe it‘s almost April! @TheAromaofBooks

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 2mo
28 likes1 comment
review
Lcsmcat
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Pickpick

I finished this on the treadmill this morning and it was a fascinating look at the gilded age and beyond. Told with love but not with blinders on, Cooper explores the faults and foibles, the triumphs and traumas, as he explores the rise and fall of the Vanderbilt dynasty. A nice companion to the #WhartonBuddyRead as it covers some of the same ground. A nice touch was the epilogue where he tells what stands now where the mansions once were.

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Lcsmcat
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Pickpick

I devoured this book. Part genealogical mystery, part loving mémoire, part philosophy of war and empire, it was shot through with Palin‘s intelligence and humor. Thanks to my cousin @barbwire for a lovely birthday present.

review
Lcsmcat
Dear Carolina | Kristy Woodson Harvey
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Panpan

This book has more similes than a 9th grade English assignment on descriptive writing, and if I had to read one more “I think I‘m southern if I can‘t say a sentence without some goofy expression” page I would have exploded like a too-ripe watermelon dropped from the back of the truck on a bumpy road heading to market. Sheesh!
Read Flannery O‘Connor - skip this one. #24in2024 number 9 also #doublespin

willaful 🤣 2mo
45 likes1 comment
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Lcsmcat
Memphis | Robert W. Dye
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My birthday was full of books (and grandson. And Six!) The little book on the bottom is the tagged book.

LeahBergen Happy birthday! ❤️ 2mo
Lcsmcat @LeahBergen Thank you! 2mo
Ruthiella Happy Birthday! 🥳🥳🥳 2mo
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Graywacke Happy birthday! 🙂 2mo
Lcsmcat @Ruthiella Thanks! 2mo
Lcsmcat @Graywacke Thanks! I‘m 60 pages in on the Michael Palin book already and I highly recommend it. 2mo
Aimeesue HBD! 2mo
TheSpineView Happy Birthday! 2mo
Lcsmcat @TheSpineView Thank you! 2mo
Leftcoastzen Happy Birthday!🎁🎂🎉 2mo
batsy Happy birthday! 🎈🎂📚 Great stack 😍 2mo
Lcsmcat @Leftcoastzen Thank you. 2mo
Lcsmcat @batsy Thanks. Have you read any of them? 2mo
batsy No. I've had Miss Jane on my tbr for awhile and am keen about the Worsley, as well! I'm pretty sure you'll get to both before I do 😆 2mo
51 likes15 comments
review
Lcsmcat
Fulton | Elizabeth R. Jones
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Pickpick

N J (Newton Julian) Paschall was my great-great grandfather and it was fun to read about his contributions to the town of Fulton. The Images of America series isn‘t particularly careful in its research, but they always have good pictures.

Graywacke Cool! 2mo
Hooked_on_books That‘s so cool! 2mo
40 likes2 comments
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Lcsmcat
Dune | Frank Herbert
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So relatable!

SpellboundReader 😃👍 3mo
38 likes1 comment
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Lcsmcat
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(Enlarge if necessary.)

LeahBergen 😂😂 3mo
Dilara 😂Love this! 3mo
Cuilin 😂, Hawthorne pukes! (edited) 3mo
sarahbarnes 😂😂😂 3mo
37 likes4 comments
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Lcsmcat
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Home sick today, so I‘ve already gotten in the first chapter (and the preface and dedication) of this #randomclassics @TheAromaofBooks

monalyisha Hope you feel better soon! ✨ 3mo
Lcsmcat @monalyisha Thanks! (It‘s just a cold.) 3mo
TheAromaofBooks Yay!! Hope you're on the mend!! 3mo
35 likes3 comments
review
Lcsmcat
Sight Hound: A Novel | Pam Houston
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Pickpick

Full of quirky Houston characters, two (or three) dogs, and one sardonic cat, this novel celebrates love, human and canine, without being sappy or emotionally manipulative. Prose that brings the west to life, & a surprise cameo of someone I once knew who is neither fictional nor famous. (Houston once went to the same church as me and knew this man there which makes me wonder if he asked her to write him into one of her stories.) No. 8 #24in2024

Bette What a good tidbit…knowing a character. Great review. 👍😊 3mo
45 likes1 stack add1 comment
review
Lcsmcat
The Personal Librarian | Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray
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Pickpick

This is a very soft pick for me. I think I‘d have preferred a nonfiction account. I finished it because it‘s for my irl book club, and it sent me to the internet to find out more. But the writing itself was at best bland, at worst anachronistic. And the name dropping got tiresome. We know Bernard was a cad - no need to drag Edith Wharton into it.

Amiable Totally agree. I've read another Marie Benedict book and I thought the same thing -- it was dull, surface-level, and made me want to seek out a nonfiction account of the person who was profiled instead. I won't be picking up any more by Benedict --not for me. (edited) 3mo
48 likes1 comment
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Lcsmcat
Untitled | Untitled
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My #bookspin list for March. @TheAromaofBooks

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 3mo
25 likes1 comment
review
Lcsmcat
The Mother's Recompense | Edith Wharton
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Pickpick

Wharton messed with us in this book. Kate is both highly frustrating and yet to be pitied. Chris is the worst villain since Lovelace of Clarissa infamy, and Anne strikes me as fairly selfish herself, or at least spoiled and immature. Fred, well Fred just made me sad. He deserved so much better. Yet through it all Wharton‘s wit and humor and sparkling prose make this a pick. If you like moral dilemmas and no easy answers, this one‘s for you.

Daisey Wharton is rather hit or miss for me, but all the reviews I‘ve read today make me curious to read this one. As bad as Lovelace!?! 3mo
Lcsmcat @Daisey Almost! 3mo
See All 7 Comments
CoverToCoverGirl Great review! My favourite by her is 3mo
Suet624 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 to everything you‘ve said. I felt very badly for Fred. And what a fascinating read. 3mo
batsy Great summary. I, too, felt for Fred. Something about him—principled and steadfast. 3mo
jewright @Daisey This book is so much shorter, and the evil guy isn‘t nearly as evil as Lovelace. 3mo
45 likes7 comments
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Lcsmcat
The Mother's Recompense | Edith Wharton
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“His manly chest seemed outspread to receive the pectoral cross, and all his gestures were round and full, like the sleeves for which they were preparing.” I know that the Rev. Dr. Arklow is a minor character, but this quote was too good not to illustrate. (Above is an actual bishop of the era.) As CarolynM points out, this is a book of moral dilemmas. But was Arklow‘s advice moral? Or conventional ? Did Kate do the right thing toward Anne? Frank?

Lcsmcat And was the inevitable “sterile pain” the result of her first flight, or her return? #whartonbuddyread (edited) 3mo
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Lcsmcat Now for all the other quotes. 😂 3mo
Lcsmcat “The Drovers and Tresseltons were great at acting in concert, and at pretending that whatever happened was natural, usual, and not of a character to interfere with one‘s lunch.” 3mo
Lcsmcat “A real mother is just a habit of thought to her children.” 🤨 3mo
Lcsmcat “she had plied him [Frank]with uncomfortable questions, and detected in his kindly eyes the terror of the man who, all his life, has tried to buy off fate by optimistic evasions.” 3mo
Lcsmcat “He had overcome his strongest feelings, his most deep-rooted repugnance; he had held out his hand to her, in the extremity of her need, across the whole width of his traditions and his convictions; and she had blessed him for it, and stood fast on her own side.” 3mo
Graywacke I‘m struggling with how to process this one. What was Wharton doing? Is this about flawed Kate and/or a condemned Kate? Is Kate a victim or cause? I can‘t imagine abandoning Anne. But she did it twice. So is this her character flaw, to run away? Or are these completely different circumstances? 3mo
Lcsmcat @Graywacke I too am struggling. I know that in that era children “belonged” to their fathers legally. So had she tried to take Anne they would have hunted her down. But, finding the atmosphere too stifling to abide herself, she left a _daughter_ to be raised in it? And then, by withholding information on Chris, was she saving A or herself from pain? Because I don‘t trust him to keep quiet once the honeymoon is over. 👇🏻 3mo
Lcsmcat 👆🏻The first fight they have I can just hear him fling out “You‘re just like your mother was!” And then how doubly betrayed would Anne feel?! 3mo
Graywacke Of course, Kate avoided facing that. (But then even Fred said, after he knew, that he wasn‘t worried about Anne. She could take care of herself.) 3mo
Graywacke I should add, I‘m struggling to understand what Wharton was doing to us, the reader. She left us in a tough spot. Me can simple say, well Kate was Kate and that‘s what she does. But in doing that, we are making a Kate of ourselves, avoiding all the hard questions in the book about social constrictions, women‘s positions, evolving and lost values, moral responsibilities … So, is she challenging us? Intentionally making us uncomfortable? 3mo
Lcsmcat @Graywacke The title makes me think Wharton wants us on Kate‘s side. But was allowing Anne her way and then ducking out truly making amends? I don‘t know. I think Wharton is always trying to make her readers uncomfortable in some fashion, and she raised some serious questions in my mind, but I don‘t have the answers. 3mo
batsy I feel that all outcomes would lead to the same situation: Kate alone, unable to be with her daughter. Had she told Anne she would have been banished from Anne's life by Anne herself, and now Kate has had to remove herself from Anne's life by not saying anything. Is this Wharton's way of saying Kate will always be punished for her original mistake—leaving her daughter? Isn't it great that Wharton makes us suffer this way? 🙃 3mo
batsy Chris is total red flag. An absolute red flag. Of course he should have walked away regardless of what Anne wants. She'll be heartbroken, and then she'll be fine. I'm sort of aghast at how the circumstances made it so that he "wins". But then again, that's a window into the kind of world Wharton was writing about... 3mo
Graywacke @Lcsmcat the title is bitter! 3mo
Graywacke @batsy Agree about Chris, a creep. But like Fred, I trust Anne. She‘ll manage. And Kate certainly should have told Anne. Whatever consequences would have been temporary. Anne would forgive. Kate‘s affair wasn‘t criminal in Anne‘s world the way it was in Kate‘s. (Still, i appreciate the minister‘s flexibility, even if maybe being a stern inflexible Catholic priest might have been what Kate really needed.) - oops…too much in one comment 😁 3mo
Graywacke Any thoughts on Kate thoroughly breaking her world‘s morality while still clinging desperately to it? 3mo
TheBookHippie Not everyone wants to be a mother even when one becomes one- back then what was her choice, even now to say it or leave to pursue a life for yourself is okay for a man, not a woman. Kate would end up alone not fitting anywhere, in all the scenarios, maybe not fitting in anywhere and not longing to is the struggle. But I think Anne would have forgiven her. Shame regret and fear ? A woman‘s struggle.. I‘m still processing obviously ..Chris is 🤮 3mo
TheBookHippie @Graywacke desperate for belonging or love ? I‘m still mulling it all over. 3mo
Lcsmcat @TheBookHippie I think Kate did want to be a mother - just not enough to put up with her husband. She talks about having to fill her mind with other thoughts to avoid thinking about Anne. 3mo
TheBookHippie @Lcsmcat I wonder though if she had a choice, since she didn‘t like him. At any rate children belonged to the father, probably why so many women left their children, sanity and distance from their husbands. It‘s all awful choices. Some women loved their children so much they put up with anything just to be with them. But she didn‘t. (Not that I would do any better. ) and children were seen differently than now- yes?⬇️ (edited) 3mo
TheBookHippie @Graywacke the flexibility was refreshing. 3mo
TheBookHippie ⬆️ you can love your child and not want to be a mother. The two aren‘t necessarily connected. I feel sorry for Kate and not Anne I think it‘s what the reader gets from this one is fascinating to me. 😮‍💨 3mo
TheBookHippie @batsy did your intro to the book talk about this? Mine did. The window into the world being so accurate. 3mo
Lcsmcat @batsy Yes, it felt inevitable that Kate would end up alone again, and (to me at least) that she would hurt others in the process. So is the “recompense” of the title meant to be “this is the thanklessness of being a mother” or “this is what you get as a woman trying to live your own life” or something else entirely? 3mo
Currey @Lcsmcat Great discussion. I also was left largely confused about what Wharton wanted from us other than that confusion. Kate seemed to have left Anne twice for what she thought were the right reasons but which, at least the second time, felt totally wrong. Chris is ugly, Anne is tough, if you are going to be alone anyway, why not tell the truth before running? Why did Kate think she had done a noble thing? Punishing herself is a piece of it 3mo
Lcsmcat @Currey It didn‘t feel noble to me either. 🤷🏻‍♀️ 3mo
Graywacke Psst - this was our 18th book by Wharton !! 👍 3mo
Lcsmcat @Graywacke She was indeed prolific! 3mo
Graywacke @Currey @Lcsmcat i really hope no one thought it was noble. Well, maybe except Kate. Don‘t be a Kate. 🤭 3mo
Graywacke @Currey Anne tough - like strong or like you found her difficult? I found her tough in the sense of independent and resolute, and undeterred. I‘m an Anne fan. 🙂 3mo
Lcsmcat @Graywacke Really? I found her difficult to read. EW kept comparing her to her grandmother and I felt a bit of that selfishness coming through. She was loving and charming- until she wasn‘t getting what she wanted. I‘m Team Frank on this one. 3mo
Graywacke @Lcsmcat team Fred? No, I understand Fred. But I‘m team Anne, our stately tough Greek goddess. 3mo
CarolynM There‘s a lot to unpick isn‘t there? I‘m with @batsy re Chris - I didn‘t buy the reformed character thing at all. If Kate had accepted Anne‘s money there‘s no way he‘d have come back, reputation be damned. I give it maybe a year before he seduces some other woman & Anne throws him out, because I agree she‘s tough. But I also think Kate had to let Anne find out about him for herself. 3mo
Lcsmcat @CarolynM Do you think that if Anne found out on her own after they were married, that she would seek out Kate? Because I don‘t. I think she would be furious that Kate hadn‘t told her and it‘ll be another 20 years before they speak. 3mo
CarolynM I think Kate was trying to be noble by shielding Anne from the truth, but as @Lcsmcat said I can also see Chris telling her, especially once he realises she‘s really finished with him. I also think she was trying to be noble in leaving Fred. I kind of think that giving up what he offered her - social position, security, but most of all steadfast love - was the “recompense” of the title. (edited) 3mo
CarolynM @Lcsmcat I‘m not sure. It might depend on the circumstances in which he told her, and also what he told her. But I don‘t think she‘d have forgiven Kate any faster if she had told her. 3mo
arubabookwoman i think Kate left the 2nd time for 2 reasons. The first and most important was she was trying to follow the reverend's precise advise--if the daughter was not told before the wedding, the mother must be sure to keep her mouth shut forever. Since Kate did not tell Anne, I think she knew that if she had to spend time in the company of Chris & Anne, some word or action would let the truth be out. The only way to follow that advice was to leave 4ever. 3mo
arubabookwoman She also left because she could not take Fred's pity. (Despite his sometimes purposeful obliviousness, Fred was my favorite character). I think that's why she rejected Fred, even tho' he was willing to leave NYC and live anywhere with her. 3mo
arubabookwoman Does anyone know what "sterile pain" is? I really liked this entry into our Wharton reading. I was kept guessing til the very end about what Kate was going to do, whether the wedding would come off, and so on. I think after her return Kate realized how much she disliked the society & its rules, & the only thing keeping her there was her daughter. If, as it turned out, she lost her daughter there was no reason to stay, with Fred or otherwise. 3mo
Lcsmcat @arubabookwoman That was one thing she did right (although she ought not to have given him hope in the first place) because no matter how long he‘d been crushing on her, I don‘t think they‘d have been happy together. 3mo
batsy @TheBookHippie Sadly, no. I got the ebook off Gutenberg so no intros 🙁 3mo
batsy @Currey I agree with you, it's not noble but Kate has that tendency to self-pity in her. My read of her character is that she would enjoy being a kind of martyr, and would want to punish herself whilst thinking it was noble. I don't mean that as a judgement on her character so much as how she has become, under the circumstances. 3mo
Lcsmcat @batsy Yes, she does seem a bit martyrish. 3mo
batsy @Graywacke @Lcsmcat I'm not so sure if I'm team Anne, either. Tough yes, and maybe admirable in some ways, but also ruthless in other ways, I think. The potential to be harsh is there. A part of me will forever be curious about how she would have reacted to what Kate told her. I'm not convinced she would have forgiven in time. But it would be nice to be wrong! (🕯️ Edith, we need a sequel 🕯️) 3mo
Lcsmcat @batsy Call in the spiritualists! 😂 3mo
batsy @Lcsmcat 😁 3mo
Graywacke So interesting, the different takes. 3mo
Currey @Graywacke Yes, tough as in strong and persevering and quite able to take care of herself. 3mo
Currey @batsy but a touch of cold too. I think Anne would have forgiven Kate for the truth but in the same way she forgave the first running away. If Kate comes back and plays the perfect mommy then she will play the perfect daughter. 3mo
jewright I feel like Kate leaves Fred to protect him, but she also doesn‘t want to be tied down again to any man. I can‘t decide about Anne and Chris. They do really seem to love each other, but it‘s just so icky. 3mo
Graywacke @jewright Kate and Fred has me thinking. She was not attracted to Fred. He represented an ideal she didn‘t actually want. In a way, he was the best the NY crowd had to offer. And spurning him, she was really fully rejecting that whole world. And maybe we can appreciate that. Certainly we must assume Wharton could. 3mo
Lcsmcat @Graywacke That‘s an interesting take on Kate and Fred‘s relationship. I tend to agree, although I‘m not sure Kate had anything to replace that world with, which leaves her detached or unmoored, depending on how you look at it. 3mo
Graywacke @Lcsmcat that is maybe the main tragedy here (??) 3mo
Lcsmcat @Graywacke I think it could be. Fred and Anne are hurt by her actions, but they have each other (& the rest of society) but Kate? Only other disconnected people who don‘t seem to have created anything substantial. 3mo
Leftcoastzen I think Kate didn‘t have a good choice. If she stayed near Anne & Chris , it would hurt so much if they were happy, and hurt as much if Chris turns out to be a cad , hurts so much as well. Fred‘s gesture was nice, but I feel she had to escape the situation. Back to her comfortable exile! 3mo
Leftcoastzen Wharton is such a wonderful writer , I guess I shouldn‘t be surprised that she was up to date with the younger set . You see the old standards seem to still apply to the older generation, the younger ones not so much. 3mo
22 likes60 comments
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Lcsmcat
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My latest #treadmillBook. Read by Anderson Cooper, it‘s off to a great start.

review
Lcsmcat
Wilderness Tips | Margaret Atwood
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Pickpick

Number 6 for#24in2024, this is another set of short stories full of Atwood‘s mischievous humor and prescient insights. Loved it!

Jas16 6! That is incredible! 3mo
Lcsmcat @Jas16 I front-loaded it with books I knew I‘d get through so if I get distracted later in the year I can still make it. 😀 3mo
38 likes1 stack add2 comments
review
Lcsmcat
Chestnut Street | Maeve Binchy
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Pickpick

Like any short story collection, some were stronger than others, but this was a pleasant listen each morning. #treadmillbook

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Lcsmcat
The Mother's Recompense | Edith Wharton
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Post WWI and a couple of affairs, Kate is “allowed” to return home to the US and her daughter. I don‘t think she likes what the US has become, especially the younger generation. They seem to get the most pointed (and witty) comments from Wharton‘s pen. Impressions of Kate? Anne? Chris? I‘ll post some favorite quotes below. #whartonbuddyread

Lcsmcat “They had all, she gathered, far more interests and ideas than had scantily furnished her own youth, but all so broken up, scattered, and perpetually interrupted by the strenuous labour of their endless forms of sport, that they reminded her of a band of young entomologists, equipped with the newest thing in nets, but in far too great a hurry ever to catch anything.” 3mo
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Lcsmcat “the little dinner with the Horace Betterlys and their dull noisy friends, who wanted to “see life” and didn‘t know that you can‘t see it unless you‘ve first had the brains to imagine it …” 3mo
Lcsmcat “It was one of the young men who came to the house; his fresh blunt face was as inexpressive as a foot-ball; he might have been made by a manufacturer of sporting-goods.” 3mo
Lcsmcat “She saw again, with gathering wonder, that one may be young and handsome and healthy and eager, and yet unable, out of such rich elements, to evolve a personality.” 3mo
Lcsmcat “Nothing shocks the young people nowadays—not even the Bible.” 3mo
Lcsmcat “Every moment of such purposeless lives was portioned out, packed with futilities.” 3mo
Lcsmcat “There they all were, the faces that had walled in her youth; she was not sure, at first, if they belonged to the same persons, or had been handed on, as part of the tradition, to a new generation.” 3mo
batsy That "inexpressive as a football line" is such a hoot. A perfect description and you immediately know the "type" ? In contrast, I loved this description when Kate sees Anne in person—"Anne was slightly the taller, and her pale face hung over her mother's like a young moon seen through the mist". At the moment, I dislike and don't quite trust Chris, but I've no idea if I'm being fair to him. Kate may be given to self-pity, Anne as yet a mystery... 3mo
Graywacke Oh, great quotes. And weird Litsy, I‘m just now seeing this. Book 1 is full of lush prose. I understand Kate so well after this. But it‘s a character attack on Kate, no? 3mo
Graywacke @batsy I think Chris is a creep, charming as he may be. 3mo
Lcsmcat @Graywacke Yes, Litsy was misbehaving this morning. And it is a character attack on Kate in a way. But a sympathetic one, if that makes sense. 3mo
Lcsmcat @batsy I loved that quote about Anne too! It makes her seem so ethereal and a little unreal. Definitely not like her contemporaries. 3mo
Currey @batsy @Lcsmcat Wonderful quotes. I found myself happy to be back in Wharton‘s prose if not in her New York world. I also do not trust Chris and Kate is strangely missing some insights into herself which you think she would have acquired after so many years. 3mo
Graywacke It‘s interesting how thoroughly Wharton creates Kate‘s background. Her life in Europe. Her re-experiencing New York after her 18 yr absence. The story doesn‘t need this, and yet it‘s so wonderfully done 3mo
Graywacke Kate‘s European world: “Not one of them, men or women, if asked where they had come from, where they were going, or why they had done such and such things, or refrained from doing such other, would have answered truthfully; 👇 3mo
Lcsmcat @Currey I don‘t trust Chris at all. As soon as he found out whose daughter Anne was he should have disappeared from her life. 3mo
Graywacke 👆 not, as Kate knew, from any particular, or at any rate permanent, need of concealment, but because they lived in a chronic state of mental inaccuracy, excitement and inertia,which made it vaguely exhilarating to lie and definitely fatiguing to be truthful.” 3mo
Graywacke Fred Landers is interesting too. This poor description could be me! 😁 “As he blinked at her with kindly brotherly eyes she saw in their ingenuous depths the terror of the man who has tried to buy off fate by one optimistic evasion after another, till it has become second nature to hand out his watch and pocket-book whenever reality waylays him.” (edited) 3mo
Currey @Graywacke Marvelous quote - that “inaccuracy, excitement and inertia” is such a quirky summation. It is difficult to put excitement and inertia together in the same being but Wharton does it 3mo
Graywacke @Currey right. She has a way. Her pen was rolling here. 3mo
Lcsmcat @Graywacke Landers is such an innocent, in his way, that I worry about what Wharton has in store for him. 3mo
Lcsmcat @Currey I have major jealousy over Wharton‘s prose. She‘s amazingly talented! 3mo
Graywacke Chris on Kate: “He told her she had run away from her real duties only for the pleasure of inventing new ones, and that to her they were none the less duties because she imagined them to be defiances. It was one of the paradoxes that most amused him: the picture of her flying from her conscience and always mneeting it again in her path, barely disguised by the audacities she had dressed it up in.” 3mo
Graywacke Having said all that, Kate‘s (muted) bond with Anne, and Anne‘s rediscovery of her mother is quite beautiful and moving. Imagine finding your mom again! That‘s special 3mo
Lcsmcat @Graywacke We all know people like that, don‘t we? (At least anyone who raised a teenager does. 😂) (re: the duties quote) (edited) 3mo
Graywacke @Lcsmcat i read a spoiler on Fred. 🙁🤐 (edited) 3mo
Graywacke @Lcsmcat yes - teenagers! So true. 3mo
Lcsmcat @Graywacke I found that the least believable part. I feel like Anne would have absorbed enough of her father and grandmother‘s attitudes to be a bit resentful. And that the feeling of having been abandoned would show up more. I‘m kind of expecting a show-down along those lines in the next bit. Especially if she finds out Chris left at her mother‘s insistence without finding out about his affair with Kate. 3mo
Graywacke @Lcsmcat interesting. I think Anne lived in this rich false NY world and always imagined something pure and associated that with her missing mother. I think she saw Kate as a salve for all that, something she felt she needed desperately. So i bought in! And it worked as long as Kate didn‘t communicate anything…and didn‘t do anything really really destructive 🙈 (edited) 3mo
Graywacke So my take at the moment is this is a novel of something beautiful turning bitter. ?? 3mo
Lcsmcat @Graywacke Interesting. I can‘t wait to read the rest and see how it shakes out. 😀 3mo
TheBookHippie The prose!! She‘s really in her stride. I think Anne had a fairytale version of her mom in her head, which happens a lot in children whose parent is absent, so it‘s not about them. The Bible quote made me giggle hasn‘t that been said every generation? I do not trust Chris. Kate intrigues me. Now I‘m interested to see what happens to Fred! Sorry so late, insomnia and went for a late morning nap. 3mo
Suet624 I love all the quotes from the book that folks are posting. I finished the book a while ago and one of the things I still think about is when Kate talks about people filling their days in such a way that they didn‘t have too much free time. I assume they wouldn‘t want to have to think about how vacuous their days were. I was also surprised by Anne‘s complete acceptance of her mother, but a mother‘s love is always sought so I let that slide. 3mo
arubabookwoman my computer wasn't working this am so sorry for the delay in posting. The quote about "football faces" tickled me--I saw a lot of the frat boys from my college days. Definitely don't trust Chris. He does not seem like a nice guy. I think Anne is and hopefully continue to be a strong and independent-minded young woman. I'm hoping that if (when?) she learns the truth about Kate, she will still love and accept her. 3mo
Lcsmcat @arubabookwoman I hope it doesn‘t mess up their relationship too. 3mo
Leftcoastzen I am late to post because Litsy was wonky! I couldn‘t help but think of F. Scott Fitzgerald who made so much money writing about the vacuous young things that Wharton describes so well in this book.He was getting 1K each for his Saturday Evening Post stories. 3mo
Leftcoastzen I knew that Kate‘s “what happened in Europe stays in Europe “ luck would not last. Don‘t trust Chris either. 3mo
Leftcoastzen I can see both sides with a daughter who doesn‘t have her mother. Either wanting to do anything to have her back, like Anne , or a complete rejection, she didn‘t want me so I don‘t want her. Now with Chris in the mix , it could get more complicated. 3mo
batsy @Graywacke @Currey Agree about the prose. Felt that immediate comfort of being in a master's hands. "Readable" sounds like faint praise, but that's how good she is at drawing the reader into her world. To succumb to Wharton's narrative powers is always a treat. 3mo
batsy @Lcsmcat Yes, there is something ethereal and otherworldly about Anne at the moment. Part of it is the mystique of seeing her through a formerly estranged mother's eyes, but it also lends the character a certain kind of intrigue. It makes me like Anne, even if I don't really know her (yet). 3mo
Lcsmcat @batsy Yes, Anne feels like the least known character at this point. I feel like I know Nollie and Lilla better. 3mo
batsy @Lcsmcat I read on today & things escalate quickly. And we get to know Anne quickly, too 😅 3mo
Lcsmcat @batsy 😀 3mo
Graywacke @batsy we certainly do! Phew 3mo
jewright I feel super judgmental, but I can‘t imagine leaving my kids, so I judge Kate harshly. That part about her daughter crying for her and her not answering…so sad. And Anne takes her back happily? This is the honeymoon phase. It‘s going to get ugly over a stupid man. They both fell in love with the same man? Yuck. 3mo
Lcsmcat @jewright Yeah, I agree. Yuck. (edited) 3mo
CarolynM Interesting discussion. I‘m keen to see where this is going. How is Anne going to react when the truth comes out? What attitude will Nollie and Lilla take? 3mo
Graywacke @jewright I think that about nails it 3mo
Graywacke @CarolynM glad you‘re joining! And no idea (per those questions) 3mo
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Lcsmcat
Wilderness Tips | Margaret Atwood
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“Roughing it builds a boy‘s character, but only certain kinds of roughing it.”

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Lcsmcat
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Pickpick

I loved this quiet, deep, loving look at friendship, love, and age. And I‘ve never been so angry at a character as I was/am with Gene! Five stars! #bookspin @TheAromaofBooks

Crazeedi I must read 3mo
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 3mo
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Lcsmcat
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Pickpick

Fourth in my #24in2024, and for my irl book club, which I had to miss for a work trip. It‘s a tear-jerker and I usually don‘t like having my emotions manipulated. But the stories were so engaging and I was rooting for them both to make it to their 100th, so I didn‘t feel manipulated. I‘m just sorry I missed out on the discussion.

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Lcsmcat
The Mother's Recompense | Edith Wharton
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Just a reminder that the #whartonbuddyread of Books I and II is next Saturday the 17th

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Lcsmcat
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Pickpick

One of Dickens‘ earlier novels, NN gives me Pickwick vibes, especially with some of the over-the-top humor, and the pathos of The Old Curiosity Shop. Nicholas is a young man‘s hero - brash and hot headed and protective of his and his sister‘s honor. But also likable. And he sticks to his version of honorable behavior even when it goes against his feelings for Madeline. A typical Dickensian ending wraps it all up with a bow for an enjoyable read.

Lcsmcat This is number 3 of #24in2024 3mo
Ruthiella I loved how flawed Nicholas is, pretty rare for a Dickens‘ hero. 3mo
Lcsmcat @Ruthiella It is, although I find David Copperfield to be flawed, just in a less aggressive way if that makes sense. But children in Dickens? They‘re almost never flawed unless spoiled by a villainous parent. 👼 3mo
Pip2 Nice review! You sold me. 3mo
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Lcsmcat
Nicholas Nickelby | Charles Dickens
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Lcsmcat
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My #bookspin and #doublespin for February. Thanks @TheAromaofBooks !

TheAromaofBooks Yay!!! Enjoy!! 4mo
Deblovestoread Loved Our Souls at Night! 4mo
Lcsmcat @Deblovestoread Good to hear! 4mo
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Lcsmcat
A Week in Winter | Maeve Binchy
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Pickpick

An excellent #treadmillBook with interesting characters and a positive story line.

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Lcsmcat
Untitled | Untitled
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Here‘s my February #bookspin. Thanks @TheAromaofBooks !

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 4mo
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Lcsmcat
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Pickpick

It‘s not Shakespeare, but it comes close. There are lots of quotable lines like “Whether we fall by ambition, blood or lust, Like diamonds we are cut with our own dust.” And I liked the Duchess‘s spirit and Bosolo‘s complexity. Looking for videos, as I like to watch plays after I read them, I happened upon an English teacher‘s lectures from lockdown that were really good. (Lucky kids who had her!) 2 for #24in2024 @Jas16

rubyslippersreads I have a reproduction of this hanging on my wall. (My mom found it at a garage sale.) I might have to read the play. (edited) 4mo
Jas16 Great job. 4mo
Lcsmcat @rubyslippersreads The play is based on a real duchess. This is the cover on my edition, but it doesn‘t say who she is. I wonder if it‘s her? 4mo
Lcsmcat @rubyslippersreads Fascinating! Thanks for sharing. The attributes mentioned in the article certainly apply to the character in the play. 4mo
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Lcsmcat
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A very different duchess for my second #24in2024

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Lcsmcat
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Pickpick

This #chunkstermini has been hanging out on my shelves since it came out in the mid 1980s. It shows its age a bit, and by the last section the twists became ridiculous. But it was a fun soap opera of a book and I‘m glad I read it. My favorite character was the Duchess, and this is my image of her, except the facial expression isn‘t quite right. #bookspin for January and 1st #24in2024. @TheAromaofBooks @Jas16 @Amiable

Jas16 Glad it ended up being worth the wait! 4mo
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 4mo
Amiable I love that you've checked it off your list after all these years! Good job! 4mo
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Lcsmcat
The Mother's Recompense | Edith Wharton
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#Whartonbuddyread February it is. I‘ve got a work trip the first weekend, so the schedule will be:
February 17 - Books I & II
February 24 - Book III

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Lcsmcat
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Pickpick

It‘s always easier to talk about the failings of previous generations than of our own, but if we try we can learn from them. The behavior of the main characters in this novel isn‘t always believable, and Mireille in particular seems to learn and unlearn the same lesson over and over again. The author is skillful at manipulating the reader‘s emotions, and the research is obviously there. My irl book club will discuss this week. 3⭐️