First of all, I’m pleased to say that I’m getting hits from people searching for Henry VIII related information. It adds a nice note of prestige to an otherwise everyday bit of writing.
Also, I’ve been asked to report back on that “must spend $25 at Barnes & Noble” thing. Here’s what happened.
I wandered. I circled. I paced from fiction/literature to teen to young readers to picture books to mystery and back again. My first impulse was The King of Attolia, which I know I’ll reread, but they didn’t have it in stock . And who doesn’t want immediate gratification? Plus, I was slightly horrified that they didn’t have it (all they had was The Queen of Attolia. Not even The Thief.) And I didn’t want to order it and make another trip to the mall. (Although of course I had to go back to shop for a bridal shower gift & look for bridesmaid dresses with my sister (for her, not me, thank God).
Then I spent a long time in the picture books, lamenting the absence of certain fabulous titles and muttering to myself like a crazy person. (I only scared off a few toddlers.)
I thought about How I Live Now, Harriet the Spy, Gaudy Night, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, This is London…
Gaudy Night. My God, I could almost listen to it again from the beginning. I cried listening to the last bit. (Of course, I’d just come from vespers, where I felt like a ball of yard unraveling (but in the best possible way), and half an hour of holding a sleeping M with her little cheek cuddled up against mine. All it took was Dorothy Sayers to do me in.)
The Doctor’s Daughter. Which was described as “tidy and predictable” by Kirkus and “alternately claustrophobic and insightful” by Booklist. Huh. I liked it, but it was predictable. I almost gave it up 50 pages in, but I’m glad I stuck to it. I liked the cover, really, which kept me going.
Now, finally, I have Caddy Ever After in my hot little hands, and the Cassons are as splendid as ever, although the eccentricity is ever so slightly toned down, in a good way. The “this is how I do special” bit was perfect.