Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Frenchman's Creek by Daphne Du Maurier

This story begins with a very discontented wife fleeing her useless dissipated idle life in London's high society. She packs her children and her children' s nurse into her coach and off they rush to a small country estate in Cornwall. She is disgusted with her former life, she is bored by her dim witted but doting husband. She finds herself gradually relaxing and is intrigued by her rather singular servant.
She is paid a visit by the local bigwig Lord Godolphin who tells her that they have been plagued in previous months by a very daring French pirate whom none can seem to catch. Donna gets rid of Lord Godolphin and tells William, her servant to say to any other visitors that she is ill, mad, or out. She really doesn't to want to see anyone. On a walk through the grounds one day she explores the woods nearby and finds a creek so well hidden from view that no one has even suspected it was there. As the creek widens she follows the bank and around the bend she comes across a ship moored. She is captured and is taken on board where she meets the Frenchman. It is the beginning of her romance and adventure.
I read this book in July 2013 whilst I was on holiday in Cornwall. I loved every minute of the novel and I kept wistfully looking out to sea imaging the white sails of La Mouette coming towards me and Jean-Benoit Aubéry, the charming and romantic pirate, falling in love with me and whisking me away to France with him. Sigh...


Monday, 22 July 2013

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

I'll never forget the first time I read Jane Eyre, I was 11 years old and I think it was in Autumn 2000. We were going away and I got very bored in the car, (still do!) without a book so my mum gave me the paperback copy of Jane Eyre she owned at the time and placed it on my lap. From the first page I loved it! I remember not being keen on Rochester because of the way he deceives Jane but as I got older I understood Rochester more and more and fell head over heels in love with him. In September 2000 I started high school and I was bullied which made me very unhappy so Jane became my best friend and as I thought myself plain I could easily understand what Jane meant when she wishes she was pretty.

Jane Eyre has also distracted me from my disability and has made me believe that a man will love me for who I am, despite my disability like Jane loves Rochester even though he is blind. It also taught me to resist temptation and I was amazed at how strong Jane was in leaving Rochester even though she loved him so much, I remember thinking how hard that must have been.

One of the reasons I love Jane Eyre so much is because Jane stands up for herself and overcomes ever obstacle that people put in her path; I also love her morals too and I also like the fact that she is plain but is such a strong heroine. I love the language in this novel and think it is beautifully written.

Another reason why I love it is because there is a brooding, dark, blunt, rude but a very passionate and gorgeous hero in the novel (what woman doesn't like one of those?!) which is Mr. Rochester who loves Jane for who she is, is very kind to her and treats her like an equal, I know that he has his faults but I can't help but fall for him! I also find him a very sympathetic character because he has a lot of very unfair things to deal with in his life.

My favourite parts of the novel are:

When Jane and Edward first meet
The first conversation they have sat by the fire
After Jane saves Edward from the fire
The conversation they have when Jane leaves the drawing-room
When Jane finds out Edward is the gypsy
When Jane asks Edward's permission to leave Thornfield Hall
When Jane returns to Thornfield Hall
The proposal! (This part is so passionate and romantic!)
When Edward is explaining everything to Jane after their interrupted marriage and is trying to convince her to stay with him (I nearly cry when I read that part!)
The reunion of Jane and Edward

Every time I read Jane Eyre nowadays I still feel like Jane is my friend telling me everything about herself, I love to read it in bed where I can get cosy and fall in love with the novel and Mr. Rochester all over again! I also have Jane Eyre on audio disc as well it's lovely to listen to when I am unwell or the weather is bad. My mum often passes me one of my copies when I'm upset or ill. I often forget my worries when I read it. When I can't sleep I read it, I once read parts of it at 5:00am! I read it many times a year. Edward Fairfax Rochester is my favourite hero in English Literature.

Jane Eyre is my favourite novel. I will love it forever and it will always be a very special novel to me. I recommend everyone read Jane Eyre with a cup of tea, a slice of cake or a bar of chocolate. 

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild

One of my favourite children's books is Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild. I first read Ballet Shoes in 2011. I was unwell so I grabbed my paperback copy and went to bed. I instantly fell in love with it. It made me feel better, warm and cosy. I loved the story so much that my Mum bought me this beautiful hardback edition by The Folio Society for my 23rd birthday in 2012.

Pauline, Petrova and Posy are orphans, found by Great Uncle Matthew (or Gum) on his travels. Pauline was rescued from a shipwreck, Petrova from a Russian hospital and Posy from a family who could not afford to keep her. Sent to live with Gum’s niece Sylvia in London, the girls choose their own surname – Fossil – vowing to put it ‘into history books’. But with Gum away and money short, their ambitions must take second place to earning a living. Salvation comes in the shape of a free education from Madame Fidolia at the Children’s Academy of Dancing and Stage Training. Posy is a natural dancer and Pauline has a gift for acting, but Petrova would rather be left alone to read about cars and aeroplanes. For all the sisters, being a star isn't as easy as it looks…

I highly recommend this wonderful children's story and you can read it at any age. I hope you love reading this magical book as much as I do! :) xx