Beyond the Bookcase: Recent Reading

As the Autumn leaves continue to change we are naturally drawn to stay indoors more and what a better idea to stay indoors with a really good book especially if the weather outside is dreadful! Though to be fair I do like getting outside a lot at all time of the year; especially when you’ve been out for a blustery walk and come back to a lovely cup of tea and have something wonderful to read!

The Fortnight in September — Julian GirdhamThe Fortnight in September – R.C. Sheriff.

A best seller when printed in 1931 this book has been republished by Persephone Books and other publishers since the 1930s. The book details the annual holiday to Bognor (later to be Bognor Regis) of the Stevens family; Mr. and Mrs. Stevens and their three children teenagers Mary and Dick and ten year old Ernie. The book delights in the everyday domestic details of the family and the pleasure they get in each other’s company as they go on their annual holiday. As someone who delights in the minutiae of domestic detail this is an utter delight – from Mr. Stevens pre-holiday checkout to the sticking to routine of the same thing they do every year. A complete delight if you want a book where everything and everyone is lovely and which leaves you wanting to live in a simpler, less complicated time.

The Jane Austen Society : Jenner, Natalie: Books

The Jane Austen Society – Natalie Jenner.

This book details the fictional account of saving the Chawton cottage and estate that Jane Austen lived on and where she wrote her last three novels. The novel is set in the 1930s and 1940s and centre’s around the Chawton’s villagers attempts to form a Jane Austen Society for the preservation of her legacy before it’s lost due to the last male owner of Chawton dying. This book examines how the villagers relationships change and how they interact changes as war and trauma focuses their mind on saving something essential for them all; the legacy and excellence of Jane Austen and her writing.

An absolute must read for any Janeite’s (I am a complete and utter Jane-ite; Jane Austen is one of my favourite author’s ever!) And for anyone looking to understand more about the legacy that Jane Austen’s books continue to have.

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (Persephone Classics): Watson, Winifred, Twycross-Martin, Henrietta: 9781906462024: BooksMiss. Pettigrew Lives For A Day – Winnifred Watson. 


Published in 1938 Miss. Pettigrew Lives For A Day by Winnifred Watson covers an extraordinary day in the life of spinster governess Miss. Guinevere Pettigrew. Miss. Pettigrew is a stereotypical inter-war impoverished spinster who with little education has had to take menial jobs as a governess in various households. Unbeknownst to her Miss. Pettigrew’s latest job will transform both her life and her looks forever as she encounters Delysia Lafosse a nightclub singer of dubious morals. Miss. Pettigrew is at first shocked by Miss. Lafosse’s life style and lovers but quickly feels protective of Miss. Lafosse as she protects her in a motherly fashion. Miss. Lafosse repays Miss. Pettigrew’s kindness by giving her a makeover and boosting her confidence and challenging her morals in one fell swoop. This book is full of comedy and hilarious situations that Miss. Pettigrew gets herself in over the course of one day whilst also challenging how you feel about yourself and your own morals and encourages you to live your life to the fullest and have no regrets which Miss. Pettigrew comes to realize at the end of the book. A 1930s quick and fun read!


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