Looking Back at March

How does a sensitive soul cope when the world around her seems to be going mad?

I’ve been quiet in the online world – just popping in from time to time to put up a post and have a quick look around – because it is impossible to avoid news and discussion that it particularly stressful when you work in finance and shipping for a company that trades worldwide.

The coming of spring is helping me, and I have three forms of therapy:

ART

BOOKS

MUSIC

March‘Spring Time’ by Mary Rose Barton

I had a lovely time putting together this month’s collection of Virago art, and I have other collections making steady progress behind the scenes.

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I haven’t had too much reading time, but I’m very happy with the seven books I finished.

The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins – This is a lovely and distinctive piece of Victoriana; telling the story of a young woman who was born into slavery, brought into the master’s house and educated, and taken to London where she found both love and trouble. A compelling story and evocative prose made this a wonderful reading experience,

The Silver Road by Stina Jackson – This story of love, loss and obsession tells of a father who drives a long road every night, still searching for his missing daughter when everyone else has given up; and a girl with a troubled family life who finds a new home. The set-up is wonderful, the writing is excellent, and I was only disappointed that the latter of the story followed crime novel conventions a little too closely,

A Welsh Witch by Allen Raine – My book for Dewithon –  this year’s Wales Readathon – tells the story of four young people who grew up in a small seaside community early in the 20th century. These characters, their experiences, and the world around them were beautifully realised; and that drew me right into the story.These characters, their differnrt experiences, and the world around them were woven together to make a wonderful story, and I’m looking forward to reading more of the author’s books.

Tangerine by Christine Mangan – This is a cleverly plotted, character driven psychological drama in a vividly realised setting – a story of a toxic friendship and unspoken memories that plays out in Tangier. The comparisons – Patricia Highsmith, Daphne Du Maurier, Donna Tartt – are unrealistic but this is a compelling story and would be an very good holiday read.

Daisy Jones and the Six by Pamela Jenkins Reid – I found myself first in the library queue for this book. So much has been written about it that I don’t think I need to explain what it is about, and I’ll just say that I thought it was very well done, and reading was akin to reading an extended piece in a quality music magazine.

The House on the Cliff by D E Stevenson – This story of a young woman who unexpectedly inherits and falls in love with a house on the coast of Devon was a wonderful comfort read. The story plays to  D E Stevenson’s strengths; it was full of engaging characters, interesting situations, and though I predicted how the story would play out early on I wasn’t sure how it would get there and finding out how it did was lovely.

The Flower of May by Kate O’Brien – My book for Read Ireland 2019 is set early in the 20th century, and it tells the story of a younger daughter who loves her home and family but misses her convent school in Belgium and seizes a chance to travel with the family of her dearest friend. It is beautifully and clearly written, it has a wonderful cast of characters, and it would have sat very well with the selection of the author’s books that Virago reissued.

I have another Dorothy Dunnett book in progress, I’ve just picked up my book for The Radetzky March Readalong , I have an unread Margery Sharp book lined up for The 1965 Club …. but otherwise I’m going to see which books call me next month.

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I’ve been listening to Bach, Debussy and Rimsky-Korskov; but when it comes to songs being sung my tastes are more contemporary; and I find that certain songs will always cast a spell over me.

That’s why I have a playlist of songs this month instead of another list of books.

It was meant to be a list of ten, but there were eleven songs that all had good reasons to be included.

I will still love them this time next month, but I hope that I won’t need them quite as much as I do now ….

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13 thoughts on “Looking Back at March

  1. I can only imagine how stressful all of this is, and on a daily basis. I’m glad that you are finding comfort or distraction in those three forms of therapy. I have been trying to cut back on my time on-line, and some very distracting books have helped – but I need to do better.

    I loved The Flowers of May, and I was hoping you would too.

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  2. You had a good reading month in March. I sympathise with the stress and uncertainty of things beyond our control, I think many of us feel like that. I have Tangerine, I was suspicious of the links to writers such as Patricia Highsmith, I think I know what to expect though, and though outside my comfort zone, I am drawn to the setting. I also have several D E Stevenson tbr, though not that one. Enjoy your April reading.

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  3. I’ve been trying to hide away from it too, but I work with legislation and so it’s all I see! I wish I’d read as many books as you this month. It looks like you got through a great selection.

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  4. I can understand how you’re feeling, Jane. Hopefully your heart is eased for short periods at least by walks with Briar and the burgeoning Cornish spring.

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  5. It’s a pretty rubbish world at the moment, isn’t it Jane? Like you I tend to avoid it, hiding in art and music and books too (unlike Mr. Kaggsy who as a retired lawyer loves debate and is glued to the parliamentary broadcasts – yikes!) Glad to see Judee Sill in your playlist – what a voice she had! ❤

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  6. Thanks for the link, Jane.
    I feel a lot like you and am not around as much as I used to. It’s all a bit too much.
    You have lovely ways to find solace. I’ll be listening to your music when I get a chance. Thanks for sharing it.

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  7. I had a free 3-month trial for Kindle Unlimited, and though I found the offerings rather limited 🙂 I did have a little bit of a D.E. Stevenson binge. I agree with you, it was perfect comfort reading. I hope your books and music continue to help in these crazy days!

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