Seriously, both books that I read this weekend were set in 1895. It was too weird after setting one down and picking up the next. Oh, hello 1895, I think we’ve met before. Both very improbable stories for their historical setting, but both fun – The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly and Rebel Angels (the sequel to A Great and Terrible Beauty) by Libba Bray. If you’re looking for something serious, or exquisitely crafted, or taking great pride in historical accuracy, you’re in the wrong place. If you want drama – the fun kind, because it isn’t happening to you – you found it.
Now I’m in need of a break from all that high drama, and last night I turned to Emma, which I’ve been rereading in snippets for months now, and which is the perfect digestive aid for too much Victorian drama. Emma was never my favorite the first time around – I was partial to Persuasion and of course Pride and Prejudice, Northanger Abbey was fun, Sense and Sensibility and Emma were fine, and Mansfield Park was slightly dull. A while ago I listened to S&S on audio and was converted to its fabulousness. This reread of Emma is doing the same thing. I think next I’ll have to find an audio of MP, and see if that does the trick.
In baking news, I found a banana bread recipe that I love – from, of course, The King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion. I think the trick was the cup of yogurt/sour cream, the nutmeg, and the fact that it makes a tall, moist loaf rather than one of those short, over-browned and desperately in need of butter loaves. Actually, the loaf was almost too big for the pan, but I can live with that.