Welcome to the second quarter of my book list!

April

  • Thank Heaven Fasting by E. M. Delafield (1932) A young girl totally screws up her chances for a decent marriage.
  • Goat Song by Brad Kessler (2009) Memoir about starting a goat dairy farm in Vermont.
  • Ager’s Way to Easy Elegance by Stanley Ager (1980) A book on household management, written by a retired butler. I learned a few things about wine in this one.
  • Peace Breaks Out by Angela Thirkell (1947) World War II concludes at last, to the consternation of Barsetshire residents.
  • Farm City by Novella Carpenter (2009) Memoir of a woman who creates a farm on land she doesn’t own, in the middle of Oakland, California.
  • Rose: My Life in Service to Lady Astor by Rosina Harrison (1975) Memoir of Lady Nancy Astor’s lady’s maid.
  • Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Caroline Fraser (2017) Thorough and fascinating biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder.

May

  • Private Enterprise by Angela Thirkell (1947) I can’t remember what happened in this one. More Barsetshire.
  • Greenwillow by B. J. Chute (1956) A sweet (perhaps a little too sweet) love story set in a country village.
  • The Town in Bloom by Dodie Smith (1965) Autobiographical novel about four young girls trying to break into theater in London in the 1920s.
  • Love Among the Ruins by Angela Thirkell (1948) I’m sorry, but I just can’t keep all these Thirkell novels straight. I believe “ruins” refers to the ruins of the old life, brought on by all the social changes in GB after the war. Thirkell vigorously resented these.
  • Beowulf by Winifred Bryher (1956) I loved this quiet novel about a tea shop in London, struggling to stay in business during the war.

June

  • Because of the Lockwoods by Dorothy Whipple (1949) One of my favorite books of the year. The Lockwood family take advantage of and emotionally abuse a young widow and her children. I’ll definitely be seeking out more books by Dorothy Whipple.
  • The Feminine Middlebrow Novel by Nicola Humble (2001) This turned out to be a very dry and scholarly study of British literature for women in the mid 20th century.
  • The Blank Wall by Elisabeth Sanxay Holding (1947) A woman finds herself implicated in a murder and discovers inner resources she never knew she had.
  • One Fine Day by Mollie Panter-Downes (1947) A woman and her husband try to settle into the new world after the end of war, recounted over the course of one day.
  • The Old Bank House by Angela Thirkell (1949) Working class bloke, Sam Adams buys an old house and is finally fully accepted by the gentry.
  • Country Chronicle by Angela Thirkell (1950) Further adventures of Sam Adams and other Barsetshire folks.