April showers bring May flowers. My flowers have never looked happier than this year. It might be that new happy juice I fed them. Whatever, it has my backyard popping with color – just the place to relax and read. I hope you find your perfect spot this spring to enjoy a book or two. I was fortunate to discover some more authors new to me as well as the unforgettable Jane Austen’s first novella. I hope you enjoy them too. Happy Reading!
The Ocean at the End of the Lane
By Neil Gaiman
“Children as I have said use backways and hidden paths while adults take roads and official paths.” Neil Gaiman has a way with words – this story unwinds – through backways and hidden paths. I stepped out of my cozy reading corner this month and plunged into this fantasy tale. It is the kind of novel that generates immediate gratification from the imagination and creativity of this author. The writing is incredibly beautiful.
The memories of a childhood nightmare come flooding forwards as a middle-aged man returns home to face demons and remember those who saved him. The house of Lettie Hempstock, her mother, and grandmother at the end of the lane was the kind of place where a seven-year-old boy finds safety. The Hempstocks were always righting wrongs. So when they rescue this young boy from the bad dreams and the evil monster his parents call the nanny, he wonders are they from this world. Do they create magic or cast spells? Then as the monster worms her way deeper into the family, this little boy finds himself trying to distinguish reality from fantasy. Will the Hempstock’s be able to release this animal’s hold on him? And when the hunger birds descend to devour the boy, can the Hempstock’s protect him? The story is fascinating, and I look forward to reading his other creations.
Ebook Recommendation: Lady Susan by Jane Austen
This is an excellent production, with narration for the audio version, by Harriet Walter, Kim Hicks, and Carole Boyd. Lady Susan is thought to be Austen’s first short novel written in 1794 but not published until 1871. It is the story of widowed Lady Susan Vernon and her daughter Frederica. Recently widowed Lady Susan must capitalize on a future for herself and her daughter through the network of eighteenth-century style high society. But at what costs to them both. Young Frederica is naive to the ways of men while her beautiful mother attracts them like files. The novel is written in a series of letters and is filled with such wit and comedy; it really reflects Austen’s style. It is a short novel; just over two and a half hours of listening pleasure. It is quite enjoyable.