The sea is calling me, softly in lingering brushes. It is the middle of cool February and I’m in a delightful mood for morning or afternoon walks, evening adventures and at peace in the weak light of the sun.
Yet strangely, the summer sea is calling me. In a few months, the stones will be baked in the full glory of the sun and I will be a wilting flower yet once again. But the lull of the sea is as sweet as a siren’s call, hence this picture.
I used to prefer writing long blog posts about my travels and musings but these days, time has other plans or simply runs away. It is a pleasure already to write just a few and meaningful notes, thoughts drawn at a moment’s notice. Still, I may find the mood to write a long tedious novel one day.
It is now November and holiday is in the air. Pretty soon, streets will twinkle with lights and now and again a firecracker will burst. Pretty soon, our tree will be up. But for now, I am enjoying the turn of the season and anticipation in the air.
Du Maurier’s writing appealed to me upon reading Rebecca and it was such a beautiful book that it took quite a while for me to pick up the next Du Maurier book for the character still lingered in my mind. Frenchman’s Creek was my second pick of Du Maurier and I half expected the same melodic tone in her prose.
But perhaps I mayn’t pick her next best work? At first, I keep rereading the first few paragraphs as I couldn’t summon the same stirring mood as I felt in the mere first sentence in Rebecca. So I thought to forget that book and see this story’s own charm.
Best idea ever. Indeed, I was entirely captivated by our hero and the heroine. I am left in a poignant reverie; of great understanding to the choices one needed to take warring with the mad impulse to fight for a true love and to follow one’s heart. The rest of the story and characters may not have totally swept me off my feet, if they weren’t trifling at least they were downright amusing, but Lady Dona and Monsieur Aubery as well as their chemistry blazed bright like a crackling bonfire or two glowing stars in the clear night sky.
Our heroine’s escapades and boldness amused me to no end most esp when she is becoming most tiresome of her companions which seemed to magnify all the more the cracks, cynicism, the bleak emptiness in her life. She is one formidable woman without needing to show austerity or stiffness and one can see, in the few scenes way before their first meeting, that she totally compliments the French pirate. Well, there appears to be no end to our hero’s charms and magnetism. He even persuadingly makes nonchalance to law or danger quite an attractive quality. Du Maurier draws out a daredevil figure without being repelling and as such she was able to create a rather appealing character of many contrasts.
The highlight of my reading is when the two are off together in an adventure or escaping into that enchanting little spot that Du Maurier calls Frenchman’s Creek.
It’s been a really really long day. Long days gone by in a blink, never to be caught again. I’m glad I am back even for a while and perhaps only for a time.
Six books behind schedule, that’s according to my Goodreads reading challenge. Book review thoughts remain becalmed inside my head. Blogs are frozen and silent.
This lull, one wants to think is brought on by sabbatical impulses like craving for a solitude, catching up time with friendships and relationships, or off to some adventure. But, in reality, the truth is as amusing as any readied humor or irony of the day.
When missing normal routine is brought about by a certain fever, in this case an obsession, everything is left as it is, still and waiting. I have been trying to look back and around but for now my attention is like a tunnel vision zoomed on this amusing thing I am fond of at the moment.
There’s an understated elegance in this short novel that tells the story of a young woman spending a holiday in the Italian countryside and an end of a summer romance.
Sophie meets Tancredi, an Italian who is separated from his wife and family. Amidst the courtesies of society, celebration of the town festival and walks in the countryside under the languid heat, their romance leisurely unfolds but not without its troubles.
Sophie, being half-Italian, half-English, merely glides along the periphery of Italian society. She is aware of herself standing outside the glass looking in, seeing and living but not quite belonging. Hazzard subtle brings her foreignness to the fore by the few facts of reality and some metaphors.
There is Sophie in the middle of a crowd going in the other direction by herself while the rest moves in the opposite way. Her meeting with Tancredi outside the walls connoting that the consummation of their togetherness is only possible when they are both outside the deep-seated reign of intrinsic culture.
Shirley Hazzard has a beautiful way with words like a fading afternoon light that turns every surface almost magical. The fountain scene in the beginning is one of the remarkable scenes for me. I could almost hear the tinkle of Sophie’s bracelets as it fell into the water (it seems fountain scenes are quite magical, remembers Atonement).
The Evening of the Holiday is infinitely stirring, restrained and flowing with just the precise measure of sentimentality and yet it bursts quietly, lingering, and leaving me with discordant relief.
This review is part of my original post from our book blog, Deluged with Books.