I’ve been very diligent today, reading 200 pages of Trollope so far (having a part time job is very handy for these last minute reading binges!) and only have 100 pages left to go, which I’ll do my best with tonight, I love being married to a reader and cuddling and reading in bed together!
I had to walk over to a cafe (named the Purple Perk, incidentally) to read for a while, just so I didn’t feel too apartment bound and actually ended up sobbing while reading for a while, I didn’t expect that from Trollope! I don’t know that I’ll say at what point, but he creates these quiet characters that don’t seem to have much passion in them, but then they surprise you… That certainly made me enjoy the book more, the depth of character that he slowly slowly adds, and I love being immersed in a thick novel like this. At first I feel all squirmy and that it will never end, what more could he possibly have to say about these people, but then their struggles and concerns and they themselves begin to come to life, especially as I read about them hour after hour, looking up occasionally at the Christmas decorations or when someone would hold the door open too long (my table was right next to the door too) and then back to reading, feeling surrounded by a warm slow Victorian hug.
(I was also eating a delicious saskatoon berry crisp while reading, which is pretty much what was recommended here! Yum.)
In Henrietta’s War, the main character writes at one point that her husband has a ‘Trollopish expression’ on his face while reading his novels (don’t have the book to get the exact quote) — I wonder what such an expression looks like? Perhaps some form of satisfied contentment, like after eating turkey? I’m certainly enjoying this novel the further it goes along, even more than The Eustace Diamonds, after that one I bought Can You Forgive Her? to start the Palliser series from the beginning but wasn’t quite sure if I was fully sold on Trollope yet. Now I think it’s happened. (And has anyone else ever noticed how much he writes about people breaking their engagements? In both books I’ve read of his and in watching The Way We Live Now it happens repeatedly! What’s up with that, was he ever jilted? Does he just find it interesting or was it really such a pressing concern in the Victorian era?)
My enjoyment in reading this book, even in such large chunks over the last few days, has definitely further solidified my desire to read more Victorian novels, something I’m planning to do for most of the rest of this year and next year as well! I just love the thick satisfying-ness from them, like a good meal (maybe the eating turkey analogy isn’t far off then!). I’m still thinking of Villette and how much I enjoyed the richness of Charlotte Bronte’s writing style, even if I found it and Jane Eyre somewhat depressing and even harsh on occasion. In Can You Forgive Her? I like how marriage is still valued, even though it’s also acknowledged to be difficult, even when you love the person.
I’ve now been writing this without thinking it all through before as I’ve done so often in the past, planning it all out, and I’ve enjoyed it more. I’ve been wanting to blog more of my immediate thoughts on books, with less fuss over it ahead of time as to saying the perfect thing! I think I will continue to try this new style, more reflective and less boxy, with all my topics checked off a list.
Also, I saw this last night on Victorian Geek and thought I’d try it (bookish procrastination, one of my favourite things):
Using only books you have read this year (2010), cleverly answer these questions. Try not to repeat a book title. It’s a lot harder than you think!
Describe yourself: With Violets (Elizabeth Robards)
How do you feel: Hons & Rebels (Jessica Mitford)
Describe where you currently live: A Room With A View (E.M. Forster)
If you could go anywhere, where would you go: 84 Charing Cross Road (Helene Hanff)
Your favourite form of transportation: Last Bus to Woodstock (Colin Dexter)
Your best friend is: The Other Mr. Darcy (Monica Fairview)
You and your friends are: Wives & Daughters (Elizabeth Gaskell)
What’s the weather like: Love in a Cold Climate (Nancy Mitford)
Favourite time of day: Tea With Mr. Rochester (Frances Towers)
If your life was a: Goddess at Home (Bronwyn Llewellyn)
What is life to you: The Happiness Project (Gretchen Rubin)
Your fear: Soulless (Gail Carriger)
What is the best advice you have to give: Sense & Sensibility (Jane Austen)
Thought for the day: It’s Hard to be Hip Over 30 (Judith Viorsk)
How I would like to die: The Body in the Library (Agatha Christie)
My soul’s present condition: The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)