Yes, I’m posting this a week late and it’s a bit sparse, both because I’ve been on holiday and because I didn’t read that much in September. I’m not sorry. I had a fantastic month, starting with seeing Kate Tempest and Massive Attack and ending with a week in Berlin. We had gorgeous weather all month, which has only turned autumnal in these last few days. It was a good September.
Letters from Menabilly: Portrait of a Friendship by Daphne du Maurier and Oriel Malet
This collection of letters from Daphne du Maurier to younger writer Oriel Malet, edited and editorialised by the latter, covers all the topics you might expect: family, writing, fame, home, town v country, ageing, health. Beneath a veneer of codewords, the letters are very open and honest about things like menopause, Daphne’s husband’s alcoholism and other health matters. I would definitely recommend this to any du Maurier fans.
Alone in Berlin by Hans Fallada
As preparation for our holiday, I read this fictionalised account of an elderly couple defying Nazi authorities by distributing anti-Nazi propaganda. It’s a well told, often brutal book with an air of hopelessness that can make it a tough read. Thankfully this did not reflect the Berlin we visited!
Lunatics, Lovers and Poets: Twelve Stories After Cervantes and Shakespeare edited by Daniel Hahn and Margarita Valencia
This collection of short stories was produced to honour the 400th anniversary of the deaths of Shakespeare and Cervantes (who died on the same day, not just the same year). It’s a mixed bunch, but they’re all good, to varying degrees. I enjoyed trying to figure out the references to Shakespeare and Cervantes.
Her Father’s Daughter by Marie Sizun
This novella is told from the perspective of a four-year-old girl living in Paris during the Second World War. She is the apple of her mother’s eye and despite the Nazi occupation is utterly happy in her little world. Then the father she has never met comes home from the POW camp. In sparse gorgeous prose, this is the story of shifting affection and loyalties.
How was your September? Read anything good?