Flashback Friday REWIND: The Sparrow

ffbutton2Flashback Friday is a weekly tradition started here at Bookshelf Fantasies, focusing on showing some love for the older books in our lives and on our shelves. If you’d like to join in, just pick a book published at least five years ago, post your Flashback Friday pick on your blog, and let us all know about that special book from your reading past and why it matters to you. Don’t forget to link up!

I’ll be traveling for a few weeks during the month of June, so rather than skipping Flashback Friday,  I thought I’d dig back into my FF archives and revisit some of my very first flashback books.

My premiere Flashback Friday post focused on  one of my all-time favorite books, The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell. Here’s what I wrote about it at the time:

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The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
(published 1996)

 

From Amazon:

In 2019, humanity finally finds proof of extraterrestrial life when a listening post in Puerto Rico picks up exquisite singing from a planet which will come to be known as Rakhat. While United Nations diplomats endlessly debate a possible first contact mission, the Society of Jesus quietly organizes an eight-person scientific expedition of its own. What the Jesuits find is a world so beyond comprehension that it will lead them to question the meaning of being “human.” When the lone survivor of the expedition, Emilio Sandoz, returns to Earth in 2059, he will try to explain what went wrong… Words like “provocative” and “compelling” will come to mind as you read this shocking novel about first contact with a race that creates music akin to both poetry and prayer.

I can’t overstate just how very much I love this book. It has it all: compelling characters, a science fiction slant, discovery of new worlds, fascinating interpersonal dynamics, and a confounding mystery at its core.

Lead character Emilio is so magnetic, so fascinating, and so wounded that I wanted to jump into the story to protect and defend him. Author Mary Doria Russell, an anthropologist by training, creates a world unto itself, with culture, mores, and languages that are unique and yet fully formed.

Whenever I’m asked to name my favorite books, The Sparrow is right there in the top 5. Over the years, I’ve given copies to friends and family members, and I’ve recommended it to dozens more. If you’ve never read The Sparrow, give it a try! You’ll thank me for it — I promise.

For the next two weeks, I’ll feature other “rewind” Flashback Friday posts. Stay tuned!

What flashback book is on your mind this week?

Note from your friendly Bookshelf Fantasies host: To join in the Flashback Friday fun:

  • Grab the Flashback Friday button
  • Post your own Flashback Friday entry on your blog (and mention Bookshelf Fantasies as the host of the meme, if you please!)
  • Leave your link in the comments below
  • Check out other FF posts… and discover some terrific hidden gems to add to your TBR piles!

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Do you host a book blog meme? Do you participate in a meme that you really, really love? I’m building a Book Blog Meme Directory, and need your help! If you know of a great meme to include — or if you host one yourself — please drop me a note on my Contact page and I’ll be sure to add your info!

Flashback Friday: The Feast of All Saints

ffbutton2Flashback Friday is a weekly tradition started here at Bookshelf Fantasies, focusing on showing some love for the older books in our lives and on our shelves. If you’d like to join in, just pick a book published at least five years ago, post your Flashback Friday pick on your blog, and let us all know about that special book from your reading past and why it matters to you. Don’t forget to link up!

This week on Flashback Friday:

The Feast of All Saints

The Feast of All Saints by Anne Rice
(published 1979)

 Synopsis (Goodreads):

They were New Orleans’ gens de couleur libre – the copper-skinned half-castes who lived recklessly and loved passionately, trapped in a world between black and white.

Marcel – the young, blue-eyed scholar, sensitive, and longing always for Paris. Marie – his breathtakingly beautiful sister, cursed with the ability to pass for white. Cristophe – novelist and teacher, the idol of all the young gens. Anna Bella – light in skin, African in feature, chosen for the white man.

And from Amazon:

In the days before the Civil War, there lived a Louisiana people unique in Southern history. Though descended from African slaves, they were also descended from the French and Spanish who enslaved them. Called the Free People of Color, this dazzling historical novel chronicles the lives of four of them–men and women caught perilously between the worlds of master and slave, privilege and oppression, passion and pain.

Last week, I focused on Cry to Heaven, and heard from several people who were surprised that Anne Rice had written books outside of the vampire/witch/otherworldly realm. And here is another, The Feast of All Saints, which is Anne Rice’s second published novel, released just a few years after her debut novel Interview With The Vampire.

In Feast of All Saints, we get a slice of New Orleans history centered around the “free people of color” the young mixed-race inhabitants of the city who held a special status, at once admired and coveted, and yet manipulated and treated as less than equal.

The historical elements are fascinating, and the drama is rich, filled with emotional depth and tragic twists. When I read Isabel Allende’s Island Beneath the Sea a few years ago, I was immediately reminded of this early work by Anne Rice. If you’re fond of historical fiction and enjoy a New Orleans setting, I recommend tracking down a copy of The Feast of All Saints.

What flashback book is on your mind this week?

Note from your friendly Bookshelf Fantasies host: To join in the Flashback Friday fun:

  • Grab the Flashback Friday button
  • Post your own Flashback Friday entry on your blog (and mention Bookshelf Fantasies as the host of the meme, if you please!)
  • Leave your link in the comments below
  • Check out other FF posts… and discover some terrific hidden gems to add to your TBR piles!

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Do you host a book blog meme? Do you participate in a meme that you really, really love? I’m building a Book Blog Meme Directory, and need your help! If you know of a great meme to include — or if you host one yourself — please drop me a note on my Contact page and I’ll be sure to add your info!

Flashback Friday: Cry to Heaven

ffbutton2Flashback Friday is a weekly tradition started here at Bookshelf Fantasies, focusing on showing some love for the older books in our lives and on our shelves. If you’d like to join in, just pick a book published at least five years ago, post your Flashback Friday pick on your blog, and let us all know about that special book from your reading past and why it matters to you. Don’t forget to link up!

This week on Flashback Friday:

PicMonkey Collage0522Cry to Heaven by Anne Rice
(published 1982)

 Synopsis (Goodreads):

Anne Rice brings to life the exquisite and otherworldly society of the eighteenth-century castrati, the delicate and alluring male sopranos whose graceful bodies and glorious voices brought them the adulation of the royal courts and grand opera houses of Europe, men who lived as idols, concealing their pain as they were adored as angels, yet shunned as half-men.

As we are drawn into their dark and luminous story, as the crowds of Venetians, Neopolitans, and Romans, noblemen and peasants, musicians, prelates, princes, saints, and intriguers swirl around them, Anne Rice brings us into the sweep of eighteenth-century Italian life, into the decadence beneath the shimmering surface of Venice, the wild frivolity of Naples, and the magnetic terror of its shadow, Vesuvius.

In the nine years between publication of Interview With the Vampire, the first of Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles novels, and the second, The Vampire Lestat, Anne Rice wrote a couple of stand-alone novels, which seem to be mostly forgotten today — but which are startlingly original and with quite unusual (to say the least) subject matter.

Cry to Heaven focuses on the young men, castrated before puberty, who rose to the highest levels of celebrity in the 18th century as opera singers. Admired for their pure voices and lusted after by all sorts, the lives of the castrati are explored here in a novel full of passion, pain, and drama.

For those who only associate Anne Rice with the supernatural, it may be a pleasant surprise to see her talents applied to historical fiction here in one of her earliest works. Cry to Heaven is quite unusual, but also quite unforgettable.

What flashback book is on your mind this week?

Note from your friendly Bookshelf Fantasies host: To join in the Flashback Friday fun:

  • Grab the Flashback Friday button
  • Post your own Flashback Friday entry on your blog (and mention Bookshelf Fantasies as the host of the meme, if you please!)
  • Leave your link in the comments below
  • Check out other FF posts… and discover some terrific hidden gems to add to your TBR piles!

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Do you host a book blog meme? Do you participate in a meme that you really, really love? I’m building a Book Blog Meme Directory, and need your help! If you know of a great meme to include — or if you host one yourself — please drop me a note on my Contact page and I’ll be sure to add your info!

Flashback Friday: Midwives

ffbutton2Flashback Friday is a weekly tradition started here at Bookshelf Fantasies, focusing on showing some love for the older books in our lives and on our shelves. If you’d like to join in, just pick a book published at least five years ago, post your Flashback Friday pick on your blog, and let us all know about that special book from your reading past and why it matters to you. Don’t forget to link up!

This week on Flashback Friday:

Midwives

Midwives by Chris Bohjalian
(published 1997)

 Synopsis (Goodreads):

The time is 1981, and Sibyl Danforth has been a dedicated midwife in the rural community of Reddington, Vermont, for fifteen years. But one treacherous winter night, in a house isolated by icy roads and failed telephone lines, Sibyl takes desperate measures to save a baby’s life. She performs an emergency Caesarean section on its mother, who appears to have died in labor. But what if—as Sibyl’s assistant later charges—the patient wasn’t already dead, and it was Sibyl who inadvertently killed her?

As recounted by Sibyl’s precocious fourteen-year-old daughter, Connie, the ensuing trial bears the earmarks of a witch hunt except for the fact that all its participants are acting from the highest motives—and the defendant increasingly appears to be guilty. As Sibyl Danforth faces the antagonism of the law, the hostility of traditional doctors, and the accusations of her own conscience, Midwives engages, moves, and transfixes us as only the very best novels ever do.

Midwives is the fifth book written by prolific author Chris Bohjalian, who has to date published 13 novels, with a 14th due for release in July 2014. Tightly written and movingly told, Midwives is the tale of a woman who means well — but did she do more harm than good?

Told from the perspective of Sibyl’s daughter, the events are not always clear, and we’re continuously reminded that the narrator herself may have a vested interest in how this all works out. Midwives works as a human interest story, personal tragedy, and courtroom drama. It’s a fast-paced read that’s just impossible to tear your eyes away from once you get started.

This was the first book by Chris Bohjalian for me, and I’ve been a fan ever since! He never repeats himself, and his books cover new topics and new ground in interesting, unexpected ways. For now, I’m looking forward to the release of his upcoming book, Close Your Eyes, Hold Your Hands, which sounds completely different — and pretty terrific!

What flashback book is on your mind this week?

Note from your friendly Bookshelf Fantasies host: To join in the Flashback Friday fun:

  • Grab the Flashback Friday button
  • Post your own Flashback Friday entry on your blog (and mention Bookshelf Fantasies as the host of the meme, if you please!)
  • Leave your link in the comments below
  • Check out other FF posts… and discover some terrific hidden gems to add to your TBR piles!

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Do you host a book blog meme? Do you participate in a meme that you really, really love? I’m building a Book Blog Meme Directory, and need your help! If you know of a great meme to include — or if you host one yourself — please drop me a note on my Contact page and I’ll be sure to add your info!

Flashback Friday: The Feast of Love

ffbutton2Flashback Friday is a weekly tradition started here at Bookshelf Fantasies, focusing on showing some love for the older books in our lives and on our shelves. If you’d like to join in, just pick a book published at least five years ago, post your Flashback Friday pick on your blog, and let us all know about that special book from your reading past and why it matters to you. Don’t forget to link up!

This week on Flashback Friday:

The Feast of Love

The Feast of Love by Charles Baxter
(published 2000)

 Synopsis (Goodreads):

Late one night, Charlie Baxter wakes with a start from a bad dream and decides to take a walk through his Ann Arbor neighborhood. After catching sight of two lovers entangled together on the fifty-yard line of the football field, he comes upon Bradley W. Smith, a friend and a fellow insomniac, who convinces Charlie to listen to the first of many tales that will become a luminous narrative of love in its sublime, agonizing, and eternal complexity.

We meet Kathryn, Bradley’s first wife, who leaves her husband for another woman, and Diana, Bradley’s second wife, whose cold, secretive nature makes her more suitable as a mistress than as a spouse. We meet Chloé and Oscar, whose dreams for their future together are more traditional than their multiple body piercings and wild public displays of affection might suggest. We meet Esther and Harry Ginsberg, Bradley’s neighbors, whose love for their lost son persists despite his hatred of them. Bradley, ex-husband, employer, and friend, on his journey toward conjugual happiness. The community of souls found in The Feast of Love is unforgettable – as is the perfect symphony their harmonized voices create.

The Feast of Love is one of those books that I might not have discovered were it not for a book group (now defunct, may it rest in peace) composed of a really interesting mix of folks with lots of different preferences and reading habits. I don’t remember who picked this one, but I do remember that it was one of the most outstanding book group picks over the course of the three or four years that the group was active.

In The Feast of Love, the stories of the different couples weave together with a lovely, odd rhythm that’s almost dreamlike in the telling. It took me a while to unravel whose story this really was, but that didn’t matter. Over the course of this beautiful book, the characters come to life, and it’s a community of sorts that’s built by slowly unveiling the unexpected connections between them all.

The writing is wonderful, and the love stories, both triumphant and tragic, are unforgettable.

What flashback book is on your mind this week?

Note from your friendly Bookshelf Fantasies host: To join in the Flashback Friday fun:

  • Grab the Flashback Friday button
  • Post your own Flashback Friday entry on your blog (and mention Bookshelf Fantasies as the host of the meme, if you please!)
  • Leave your link in the comments below
  • Check out other FF posts… and discover some terrific hidden gems to add to your TBR piles!

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Do you host a book blog meme? Do you participate in a meme that you really, really love? I’m building a Book Blog Meme Directory, and need your help! If you know of a great meme to include — or if you host one yourself — please drop me a note on my Contact page and I’ll be sure to add your info!

Flashback Friday: A Thief of Time

ffbutton2Flashback Friday is a weekly tradition started here at Bookshelf Fantasies, focusing on showing some love for the older books in our lives and on our shelves. If you’d like to join in, just pick a book published at least five years ago, post your Flashback Friday pick on your blog, and let us all know about that special book from your reading past and why it matters to you. Don’t forget to link up!

It’s mystery time this week on Flashback Friday!

A Thief of Time (Navajo Mysteries, #8)

A Thief of Time by Tony Hillerman
(published 1988)

 Synopsis (Goodreads):

A noted anthropologist vanishes at a moonlit Indian ruin where “thieves of time” ravage sacred ground for profit. When two corpses appear amid stolen goods and bones at an ancient burial site, Navajo Tribal Policemen Lt. Joe Leaphorn and Officer Jim Chee must plunge into the past to unearth the astonishing truth behind a mystifying series of horrific murders.

I always knew that there were quite a few books in Tony Hillerman’s Navajo Mysteries series — but ye-gads, I didn’t know just how many until today! According to Goodreads, the series consists of 18 novels, with the last one published in 2006.

The author, who died in 2008, was known for his detailed portrayal of tribal life and his respect for the cultures he portrayed, as well as for creating compelling mysteries and exciting lead characters.

A Thief of Time is the 8th book in the series, but was the first one that I read — picked up at random, as I recall, after hearing a friend mention it. And you know what? It was completely enjoyable, and didn’t leave me feeling as though I’d walked in in the middle of a story. A Thief of Time sucked me right into the story, and it didn’t matter that there was a backstory for Chee and Leaphorn that I wasn’t familiar with. I was able to enjoy the mystery and the characters, and picked up enough as I went along to fill in the blanks.

Over the years, I’ve read a few other Hillerman books (again, randomly), not in any sort of numerical order or by the publishing chronology, and I’ve always come away satisfied. In fact, I’d say that the Navajo Mysteries are fine to be read as stand-alones, so if you’re interested in sampling some compelling police drama featuring unusual settings and characters, grab a Hillerman book — any Hillerman book — and give it a try!

What flashback book is on your mind this week?

Note from your friendly Bookshelf Fantasies host: To join in the Flashback Friday fun:

  • Grab the Flashback Friday button
  • Post your own Flashback Friday entry on your blog (and mention Bookshelf Fantasies as the host of the meme, if you please!)
  • Leave your link in the comments below
  • Check out other FF posts… and discover some terrific hidden gems to add to your TBR piles!

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Do you host a book blog meme? Do you participate in a meme that you really, really love? I’m building a Book Blog Meme Directory, and need your help! If you know of a great meme to include — or if you host one yourself — please drop me a note on my Contact page and I’ll be sure to add your info!

Flashback Friday: Self-Help

ffbutton2Flashback Friday is a weekly tradition started here at Bookshelf Fantasies, focusing on showing some love for the older books in our lives and on our shelves. If you’d like to join in, just pick a book published at least five years ago, post your Flashback Friday pick on your blog, and let us all know about that special book from your reading past and why it matters to you. Don’t forget to link up!

Going back to those far-distant 1980s for this week’s Flashback Friday!

self help moore

Self-Help by Lorrie Moore
(published 1985)

 Synopsis (Goodreads):

In these tales of loss and pleasure, lovers and family, a woman learns to conduct an affair, a child of divorce dances with her mother, and a woman with a terminal illness contemplates her exit. Filled with the sharp humor, emotional acuity, and joyful language Moore has become famous for, these nine glittering tales marked the introduction of an extravagantly gifted writer.

Full disclosure: I am not a short story person. I almost never read them. Okay, maybe grudgingly, once in a while, if they’re by an author I love — but before long, I can feel my eyes rolling back in my head and I have to grit my teeth in order to force myself to finish.

A major exception to the rule was Self-Help, accomplished author Lorrie Moore’s first published work. Not only did I read them all, I practically swallowed them whole. Many of the stories in Self-Help are written in the style of — you guessed it — a self-help guide, but each sparkles with wit and word play, even in the saddest of the lot. From the second I started reading the first story in the collection, “How to Be an Other Woman”, I knew I had stumbled onto something special. A random example:

When you were six you thought ‘mistress’ meant to put your shoes on the wrong feet. Now you are older and know it can mean many things, but essentially it means to put your shoes on the wrong feet.

Or how about this opening line from the story “How to Become a Writer”:

First, try to be something, anything, else. A movie star/astronaut. A movie star/missionary. A movie star/ kindergarten teacher. President of the World. Fail miserably.

The women in these stories struggle, find and lose connections, and take good, hard looks at themselves and their lives. The writing is delightful, especially to a word-freak like me — meanings and double meanings and puns galore, and all enhance the stories, rather than acting as distractions.

I’ve read several other books of stories by Lorrie Moore, and need to read her most recent novel, A Gate At The Stairs (2009). Still, Self-Help remains my favorite of her works — and remains one of the few books of short stories that I actually loved.

What flashback book is on your mind this week?

Note from your friendly Bookshelf Fantasies host: To join in the Flashback Friday fun:

  • Grab the Flashback Friday button
  • Post your own Flashback Friday entry on your blog (and mention Bookshelf Fantasies as the host of the meme, if you please!)
  • Leave your link in the comments below
  • Check out other FF posts… and discover some terrific hidden gems to add to your TBR piles!

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Do you host a book blog meme? Do you participate in a meme that you really, really love? I’m building a Book Blog Meme Directory, and need your help! If you know of a great meme to include — or if you host one yourself — please drop me a note on my Contact page and I’ll be sure to add your info!

Flashback Friday: Half Magic

ffbutton2Flashback Friday is a weekly tradition started here at Bookshelf Fantasies, focusing on showing some love for the older books in our lives and on our shelves. If you’d like to join in, just pick a book published at least five years ago, post your Flashback Friday pick on your blog, and let us all know about that special book from your reading past and why it matters to you. Don’t forget to link up!

It’s a childhood favorite for this week’s Flashback Friday!

Half Magic (Tales of Magic, #1)

Half Magic by Edward Eager
(published 1954)

 

Synopsis (Amazon):

Edward Eager has been delighting young readers for more than 40 years with stories that mix magic and reality. Half Magic, the most popular of his tales about four children who encounter magical coins, time-travel herb gardens, and other unlikely devices, is a warm, funny, original adventure. The “Half Magic” of the title refers to a coin that the children find. Through a comical series of coincidences, they discover that the coin is magic. Well, it’s not totally magic–it’s only (you guessed it) half magic. That means there’s a certain logic to the wishes one must make to generate a desired outcome. Imagine the results emerging from inaccurate efforts: “half” invisible, “half” rescued, “half” everything!

If this book doesn’t delight you, then you, my friend, have no appreciation for magic!

Too judgmental? Sorry…

Half Magic is an enchanting book, and one that stands the test of time pretty well too. I remembered it vaguely from eons ago (a.k.a, my childhood), then read it again with my daughter and then again with my son — and each time, the magic just shone through. Despite some old-fashioned word usage, the overall themes and ideas are crystal clear and utterly entertaining: Four children, having a rather boring summer, find a magical coin that grants wishes — except it only grants half wishes. When someone wishes they were home, they find themselves suddenly on the side of the road, halfway there. Wish not to be somewhere… and you may find yourself halfway invisible with people shrieking about seeing a ghost. On and on the adventure goes, as the kids figure out the trick: Wish for double of whatever you want, and when it’s divided in half, you’ll end up with what you really want… which is a lot harder and takes a lot more cleverness than you might think.

Edward Eager wrote seven books in his magic series, some more directly linked than others. I remember Knight’s Castle as being one of the most amazing reads of my childhood (and have only recently come up with a copy, so I’ll need to reread it pronto), and have read Magic By The Lake with my son (not as great as Half Magic, but still a really good time).

Have you read any Edward Eager books? Which were your favorites? And if you had a coin that granted half wishes, what would you wish for? (My wish? To have the time to read every book I own — twice!)

What flashback book is on your mind this week?

Note from your friendly Bookshelf Fantasies host: To join in the Flashback Friday fun:

  • Grab the Flashback Friday button
  • Post your own Flashback Friday entry on your blog (and mention Bookshelf Fantasies as the host of the meme, if you please!)
  • Leave your link in the comments below
  • Check out other FF posts… and discover some terrific hidden gems to add to your TBR piles!

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Do you host a book blog meme? Do you participate in a meme that you really, really love? I’m building a Book Blog Meme Directory, and need your help! If you know of a great meme to include — or if you host one yourself — please drop me a note on my Contact page and I’ll be sure to add your info!

Flashback Friday: The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane

ffbutton2Flashback Friday is a weekly tradition started here at Bookshelf Fantasies, focusing on showing some love for the older books in our lives and on our shelves. If you’d like to join in, just pick a book published at least five years ago, post your Flashback Friday pick on your blog, and let us all know about that special book from your reading past and why it matters to you. Don’t forget to link up!

My Flashback Friday pick this week:

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe
(published 2009)

This week’s book just barely makes the 5-year requirement for Flashback Friday!

Synopsis (Goodreads):

Harvard graduate student Connie Goodwin needs to spend her summer doing research for her doctoral dissertation. But when her mother asks her to handle the sale of Connie’s grandmother’s abandoned home near Salem, she can’t refuse. As she is drawn deeper into the mysteries of the family house, Connie discovers an ancient key within a seventeenth-century Bible. The key contains a yellowing fragment of parchment with a name written upon it: Deliverance Dane. This discovery launches Connie on a quest–to find out who this woman was and to unearth a rare artifact of singular power: a physick book, its pages a secret repository for lost knowledge.

As the pieces of Deliverance’s harrowing story begin to fall into place, Connie is haunted by visions of the long-ago witch trials, and she begins to fear that she is more tied to Salem’s dark past then she could have ever imagined.

Written with astonishing conviction and grace, The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane travels seamlessly between the witch trials of the 1690s and a modern woman’s story of mystery, intrigue, and revelation.

Katherine Howe’s first novel, The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, delivers in so many ways! In part, it’s the story of an intelligent woman pursuing an intellectual puzzle as she attempts to move her academic career forward. It’s also the story of this woman’s search for hidden truths about her family’s past. As Connie uncovers clue after clue, we see family history unfold in one generation of remarkable women after another — until the past finally collides with the present in shocking and unexpected ways.

I really enjoyed the balance of the historical and modern elements of the story, and the academic setting works well in combination with an exploration of mysterious forces and powers. Readers who were captivated by Deborah Harkness’s A Discovery of Witches may want to check out Deliverance Dane as well!

What flashback book is on your mind this week?

Note from your friendly Bookshelf Fantasies host: To join in the Flashback Friday fun:

  • Grab the Flashback Friday button
  • Post your own Flashback Friday entry on your blog (and mention Bookshelf Fantasies as the host of the meme, if you please!)
  • Leave your link in the comments below
  • Check out other FF posts… and discover some terrific hidden gems to add to your TBR piles!

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Do you host a book blog meme? Do you participate in a meme that you really, really love? I’m building a Book Blog Meme Directory, and need your help! If you know of a great meme to include — or if you host one yourself — please drop me a note on my Contact page and I’ll be sure to add your info!

Flashback Friday: Persuasion

ffbutton2Flashback Friday is a weekly tradition started here at Bookshelf Fantasies, focusing on showing some love for the older books in our lives and on our shelves. If you’d like to join in, just pick a book published at least five years ago, post your Flashback Friday pick on your blog, and let us all know about that special book from your reading past and why it matters to you. Don’t forget to link up!

My Flashback Friday pick this week:

Persuasion

Persuasion by Jane Austen
(published 1817)

Going way, way back for this week’s Flashback Friday!

Synopsis (Goodreads):

Twenty-seven-year old Anne Elliot is Austen’s most adult heroine. Eight years before the story proper begins, she is happily betrothed to a naval officer, Frederick Wentworth, but she precipitously breaks off the engagement when persuaded by her friend Lady Russell that such a match is unworthy. The breakup produces in Anne a deep and long-lasting regret. When later Wentworth returns from sea a rich and successful captain, he finds Anne’s family on the brink of financial ruin and his own sister a tenant in Kellynch Hall, the Elliot estate. All the tension of the novel revolves around one question: Will Anne and Wentworth be reunited in their love?

When I talk to people who proclaim themselves Austen-ites, Persuasion is one of the books most likely to be mentioned in the same breath as “oh, I always meant to get around to that one!” I’m not sure why more people haven’t read Persuasion, but I’ve always loved it.

Anne Elliot is a lovely main character. She’s flawed and full of regrets, but also deeply thoughtful and with an underlying passion that years of sadness haven’t quite erased. She’s often the sole reasonable person amidst a sea of social-minded snobs, and the Bath society seen here is extremely silly by today’s standards.

Persuasion is not a flashy book, but has a strength and dignity  — plus a really terrific love story! — that just very much appeal to me. And I’m due for a re-read, I’m now convinced!

What flashback book is on your mind this week?

Note from your friendly Bookshelf Fantasies host: To join in the Flashback Friday fun:

  • Grab the Flashback Friday button
  • Post your own Flashback Friday entry on your blog (and mention Bookshelf Fantasies as the host of the meme, if you please!)
  • Leave your link in the comments below
  • Check out other FF posts… and discover some terrific hidden gems to add to your TBR piles!

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Do you host a book blog meme? Do you participate in a meme that you really, really love? I’m building a Book Blog Meme Directory, and need your help! If you know of a great meme to include — or if you host one yourself — please drop me a note on my Contact page and I’ll be sure to add your info!