fiction and other writing

Archive for August, 2011

Book Review: Emily goes to Exeter by M.C.Beaton

I am a huge fan of M.C.Beaton’s work, especially the Hamish Macbeth and Agatha Raisin series, which are essentially whodunits. They are quick reads with a touch of humour and characters that are likeable but with their own flaws.

Emily goes to Exeter is the first of the Travelling Matchmaker Series, but these are not typical romance genre. As you read you are taken into a time of stage coaches and servants. Hannah Pym, a former housekeeper has inherited £5000, which allows her to become a lady of independent means. She has a love for travelling by stage coach and during her travels she can’t help meddling a little in the love lives of others; always with good intention. Her work starts as she meets Emily a fellow passenger, who is running away from an arranged marriage to Lord Harley. He joins the coach party and is determined not to marry the spoilt but beautiful Emily.

Sir George Clarence, brother of Hannah’s former employer, pops up in all the books and is the back story that gives Miss Pym’s life some depth. He treats her like a lady, not a servant and she is a little in awe of him. As with all M.C. Beaton’s books the lead woman has a strong character.

So if you want an enjoyable quick read and to find out little snippets of history, then this series is worth a look.

The Travelling Matchmaker series was first published in the US in 1990 so they are not new, but new to us. It’s now published in the UK by Robinson, 2011 and available on Amazon.


Death and Life

Death is like a child’s toy.

In the beginning a child is fascinated by it; spends time thinking about it; planning memories and is almost obsessed.

As the years go by the child picks it up infrequently with the fondest of thoughts.

The toy disappears into the bottom of the toybox and is just glimpsed occasionally. Like the mourner, emotions shoot to the surface in a wave, sometimes causing us to hold our breath.

Life is like a three course meal.

Childhood brings a small taste of all the pleasures to come. It brings a promise of what is to follow.

The main course gives the illusion that there’s plenty of time; mountains of wonderful tastes to experience, culminating in the safe knowledge that there’s still more to come.

Autumn days are like a dessert. Endless time with no work and friends and family to see can seem like a treat. But too often such anticipation brings disappointment and then the plate is empty.

This task was to write a list of concrete nouns and then some abstract nouns. Then choose an abstract noun and explain it in terms of some of the concrete ones.

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