Classic Book Club

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This is the story of the bumbling Lord Emsworth and how he tries to avoid the responsibilities of his role as a Lord, preferring a quiet life and hobbies such as pig-rearing. Read the rest of this entry »

Lady Susan by Jane Austen

This novel describes the attempts of Lady Susan to survive in society and manoeuvre herself through life, using people quite mercilessly including her own daughter, while trying to appear to stay within the bounds of what is acceptable in society. Read the rest of this entry »

This is the story of Charles Ryder and his experience with Sebastian Flyte and his family; how they influence his life and yet how he feels responsible for their welfare, and the contrasts between their lives and his own. The story begins with Charles and his troops arriving at the mansion of Brideshead looking for shelter during the war, and him recognising the building and grounds from when he knew Sebastian and his family and then reminiscing about this time of his life and the impact the family had on him. Read the rest of this entry »

This is a gothic romance detailing the love affair between Ellena Rosalba and Vincentio de Vivaldi, and the attempts to thwart it by the devious and sinister characters of his mother, the Marchese di Vivaldi, and her advisor, Father Schedoni. There are wonderfully gothic features in the novel such as kidnappings and imprisonments, secret passageways and dungeons, isolated abbeys and castles and houses where anything could occur undiscovered, traps set along dark corridors, daring escapes and chases along mountain ranges, betrayals to the Inquisition, attempted murders, and seemingly supernatural events, all set against the backdrop of dramatic scenery. Read the rest of this entry »

This is a wonderful tale with so many different threads and themes, and is a brilliant read. It is centred on the French Revolution and very much told from two different viewpoints all the way through, allowing the reader to experience the events from both England and France, from the rich and the poor, and from the powerful and the powerless. I think Dickens is such an incredible storyteller, and this is yet another of his books that has been added to my list of favourites. Read the rest of this entry »

This is an account of the eventful and surprising life of Maria Von Trapp; a life full of remarkable changes of direction, from being a nun to being a loving governess and then a loyal wife and mother, from being rich to being poor, from being settled in Austria to being a refugee, from facing fear and hardship escaping the Nazi invasion to living in America and becoming successful singers. Throughout all these momentous changes she maintains her trust in God’s will as well as her charming and loving nature, and she is the rock her family leans on. Read the rest of this entry »

This is the account of Peter and his wife’s first year living in Provence, with all the charming delights and disasters they experience. I read this book many years ago and can remember laughing out loud at it on several occasions. Read the rest of this entry »

This is the story of a family moving to a new area and the young son suspecting that something strange and sinister has happened to the previous owners of their house. He discovers that their son had disappeared, there are strange statues near the house that appear to move position, his own family begin acting strangely, the lighthouse owner living nearby appears to be constantly fearful of something but won’t explain why – all wonderfully chilling and tension-building situations. Read the rest of this entry »

I love reading collections of letters as I feel it gives you such a good insight into a person, and it also feels quite nosy as you know they didn’t really intend for you to be reading these! PG Wodehouse’s letters are fascinating, and I like and admire him even more than I did before. I hadn’t realised what a prolific writer he was and how many books he’d written (as well as diligently replying to every fan letter), or how he was so involved in musical lyrics for theatre productions. I was full of admiration for his work ethic; he rigidly sat down every day and wrote for several hours even if he didn’t feel like it, and his work and success bears out this dedication. Read the rest of this entry »

This is a book of short stories that I have to admit I didn’t really enjoy. I found each story quite sad and depressing, and struggled with the style of them being just a snapshot of someone’s life with no beginning or conclusion as such. Read the rest of this entry »

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Classic Book Club

Please leave your reviews and comments about any books you have read, whether they be old classics such as Bronte, Austen or Dickens, or modern-day classics such as Dan Brown, Cathy Kelly or Marian Keyes.