January is a long month. There’s just no denying it. I’m not a fan, but I do appreciate the many opportunities to cozy up with a book, because winter is for reading. Here’s a “quick” overview of what I read in the past month.
The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley is my only venture into modern literature in January. It’s another one of those historical novels framed by present day characters and settings. The brief synopsis got me interested:
“Nicola Marter was born with a gift. When she touches an object, she sometimes glimpses those who have owned it before. When a woman arrives with a small wooden carving at the gallery Nicola works at, she can see the object’s history and knows that it was named after the Firebird—the mythical creature from an old Russian fable.
Compelled to know more, Nicola follows a young girl named Anna into the past who leads her on a quest through the glittering backdrops of the Jacobites and Russian courts, unearthing a tale of love, courage, and redemption.” -goodreads.com
If you’re a fan of historical fiction, this book is for you. The historical setting and characters are very lifelike. I learned a lot about the early 1700s in Europe when Jacobites fought for James Stewart to be on the throne and Russia was coming out of the dark ages. The bits about Peter The Great and how St. Petersburg was built were especially fascinating. The modern characters and settings were so unnecessary, though. I didn’t enjoy the present day main character, Nicola, and her psychokinetic powers, and I especially didn’t appreciate her love interest. The historical main character, Anna, and the cast of historical characters around her were likeable, well-rounded, and much more lifelike. I was especially moved by the little girl Anna and her early history (it made me want to hug my little girl tight). All in all, it was a decent book and pretty clean minus one brief encounter. But frankly, I miss the days when novels didn’t cater to this ADD society and stuck with a plot line for the whole book. I think I’m in the minority on that, though.
That foray into literature from the last year/last 80 years was short lived, and I went right back to my newly discovered D.E. Stevenson to read Mrs. Tim Gets A Job and Katherine Wentworth. For a complete review on D.E. Stevenson the post, Lost in D.E. Stevenson. I just love her writing. I’m finding her main characters can get a little redundant – they are so similar to one another from book to book, minus the Miss Buncle books – but I like them all so that eases the pain of repetition. It’s almost become comforting because I know I’ll find a friend-like protagonist when I read Stevenson. And it turns out she’s a cousin of THE Robert Louis Stevenson. She just gets cooler and cooler.
Now I’m in middle of The Prayer Box and I just hit that wonderful moment in a reader’s life when every single book I’ve requested from the library in the last three months comes in on the same day. I’m not going to be sleeping much for the next two weeks, I guess. On top of that, the Olympics start this weekend. I loooove the Olympics. Sleep, you will just have to wait.
I hope your winter reading has been expanding your world and feeding your soul. Always feel free to share what you’re reading with me in the comments!