As a break from manuscript reading for the Taos Conference, I've been indulging in some delicious novels. The first, The River Wife, is by my workshop leader, Jonis Agee. The story follows the fortunes of several women with one thing in common: a bond to the river pirate Jacques Ducharme. The scope of the novel is tremendous, and I'm impressed that Agee has made each of the women unique, even while certain elements of their lives repeat and build. On the sentence level, the writing engaged me, and, in the same way I have a crush on Jack Sparrow (who doesn't? What, you don't? Do you have a pulse? Or, what, you just don't like dirty boys?), I am a little bit over-fond of Jacques Ducharme. There is adventure, tragedy, a ghost or two, and even a cameo appearance by John Audubon.
As a part of my 1% Well Read Challenge, I read Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson. If, like I do, you have a soft spot for Nick and Nora, for gowns and cocktails in the afternoon (in the films, silly, not in real life!), then pick up this delightful novel. While the excessive use of adverbs put me off at first, I sank into Miss Pettigrew's adventures rather quickly. Lovers, cocaine, fashion, fists...it has all the makings of a fun, summer read. I recommend a tall, cool glass of lemonade (oh, add a shot of vodka if you must) and a hammock as the perfect accessories to this frothy, sweet Cinderella story.
I'm off for a quick bike ride before it gets too hot. Oh, wait, it's already too hot. I'll ride anyway, then I'll spend some time at my sewing machine. With the air conditioner on, no doubt.
As always, let me know what summer delights you are reading!