Friday 15 May 2020

QuickLit May 2020

Linking up with Modern Mrs Darcy for QuickLit. At the time this is published (May 15), we'll be almost completely out of lockdown in Slovenia, with kindergartens about to start back up. It's been pretty much a two-month non-event here, with little Covid-19 but a whole lot of restrictions, and the joy of managing a job and daycare at home. Thank goodness for lovely spring weather and a back garden (not everyone in European cities has one!). I needed escapism in my reads - only one 'serious' book this month, and that was a pretty easy read, too.

Saint Cuthbert on his peregrinations (see below)

Soniah Kamal - Unmarriageable
So I finally decided to give an Austen rewrite a chance. This retelling of Pride and Prejudice is set in modern Pakistan. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. There are a few places where the parallels to the original feel forced, but on the whole it's a fun read, and I was sad to say goodbye to the lively Binat family.

Madeline Miller - The Song of Achilles
I was pleased to pick up this TBR second hand - and sorry I'd waited so long to read it. It was right up my alley: classical, with spare but lyrical prose, and sensual (but not explicit). It retells the story of the greatest Greek warrior through the eyes of Patroclus, an unloved, exiled child prince who becomes first Achilles' companion and then lover. I kept coming back to read favourite parts after I was done. Miller's other novel, Circe, has now shot up my TBR rankings.

Donna Fletcher Crow - A Very Private Grave and A Darkly Hidden Truth (The Monastery Murders Books 1 and 2)
As an Anglican, I was interested in the setting of this series, the inner circles of the Church of England. It's an entertaining read - but I'd been hoping for something a little more literary. Our amateur sleuths are Felicity, a young American studying at a theological college in northern England, and her history lecturer, Father Anthony. This premise gives Crow the excuse to explain details to her readers - but results in too many what I call  "history dumps" in the books. I did love the mystery in the first one, though, solved by tracing the centuries-long journey of Saint Cuthbert's body, after his monks fled Viking hoards with his coffin in tow. The second, unfortunately, is much weaker, too meandering in the middle and almost a repeat of the first plot line, translated to a mystery surrounding a stolen icon. But the series is very cheap, so I decided to keep going: final reviews next month!

I hope things are looking better (or never got bad) wherever you are, and that reading is pulling you through!