Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Sunday Salon

The Sunday

I only managed to finish 2 books this past week, Castle Waiting by Linda Medley and Good Evening, Mrs. Craven by Mollie Panter-Downes.

The first book Castle Waiting I read for Carl's Once Upon a Time Challenge and the Graphic Novels Challenge.  I liked it okay, but it honestly just wasn't that great.  A young adult graphic novel, Castle Waiting begins as a retelling of the Sleeping Beauty story and then moves into a tale of the castle after Sleeping Beauty.  Essentially, the castle becomes a refuge for people needing safety and a caring environment.  My huge problem with the novel is that many plots were started and never picked up again.  Why was Jain running from her husband? Why is her baby green?  Will the blacksmith and Jain get together?  Is the library haunted?  Too many gaps in the story.  Instead of fleshing out the characters and building the story, Medley jumps around introducing new characters who tell tales.  The reader ends up with a story within a story within a story, but never finds out the back story of the original tale.  I don't think I would recommend this to others.  For a great fairytale themed graphic novel, I'll stick with my Fables series!

Now, on to a book I adored.  This week was Persephone week and to participate I read my first Persephone, Good Evening, Mrs. Craven by Mollie Panter-Downes.  The book is comprised of 21 very short stories set during World War II.  Most stories concern women during the war dealing with neighbors, loneliness, love, motherhood, and trying to live as normally as possible in very abnormal circumstances.  I really enjoyed each story, Panter-Downes is a gifted writer.  In the space of 3 or 4 pages, each character and her (or sometimes his) story is conveyed with precision and wit.

I hope this week will be a better reading week, I think I should be more realistic as I'm working 45 hours this week and my sister is getting married, but I'm hopeful to squeeze in some reading.  This week I'll continue my re-read of The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas, finish Elizabeth Kostova's The Swan Thieves, and begin a Nothing Meets the Eye: The Uncollected Short Stories of  Patricia Highsmith.


readerbuzz said...

I've never (knowingly) read a Persephone. Sounds like I should.

Hope this is a better reading week. I hate that feeling of reading something just 'cause.

Dani in NC said...

"Castle Waiting" is the first collected volume of a series that had a lot of fits and starts in publishing. That's why I didn't start reading it. I had a feeling that the next volume might not be published.

Paperback Reader said...

I'm glad that you enjoyed yourself, Amanda, and recommend you pick up a copy of the novel One Fine Day by Mollie Panter-Downes when you can.