Le Grand Meaulnes

by Henri Alain-Fournier

Dreamlike, innocent, longing.  Meaulnes is a tragic figure, and Alain-Fournier is a master of atmosphere.

Not sure what else I can say.  This is, in the main, a memoir of childhood and childish dreams.  Perhaps all the sadder since Alain-Fournier died in the Great War.  I would definitely read this book again.


Mansfield Park

by Jane Austen

I decided to read this after reading up about Austen’s references to the slave trade in a FutureLearn MOOC on ‘Literature of the English Country House’.

This book, for me, gives the house almost as much legroom as the novel we studied on the course, Northanger Abbey.  It is one of my favourite Austen novels, despite the insipidity of its heroine, Fanny Price.  The other characters are more flawed and therefore more believable.  As a picture of family tensions – between grown-up siblings and in-laws, parents and children, well-to- do and indulged children and their ‘poor relation’ – it is unsurpassed.

Thank you, Jane.