Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Book of Lost Fragrances by M J Rose

I found this suspenseful book fascinating to read.
Of exotic perfumes, an adventure story and ancient
history all combined to make a wonderful compelling
and mystical tale.

The heroine of the story, Jac or (Jacinthe as she was known by her father)
followed myths and
legends around the world and determined the truth of
many of these ancient legends.

I loved the settings of Paris and New York and the exquisite
nature of the tale with ancient perfumes deriving from ancient

Descriptions of the furniture of the home of the old work shop in Paris
where there were so many memories of earlier times were quite wonderful
and seemed so authentic. The atmosphere of an old fashioned home was
recreated from earlier eras with art works and decorative design of beauty
and majesty.

I enjoyed the re-telling of so many of the stories from the
past. Romances, the flower gardens and perfumes of Queen Cleopatra which provided
exotic and fascinating settings. It was almost as though past and future would mingle.

There were other exotic elements in the story which weaved
together, as for example, the Tibetan lore and the story of a
Tibetan boy who had been kidnapped and taken to China and
became a renowned artist in the field of the beautiful art of calligraphy and whose
works were finally presented in Paris.

A lost fragrance which could also recall past lives? This story has
all the elements of excitement and expectation of a grand finale.
This story is writing at its best and well recommended for people
with scope and imagination. Anything is possible and I found the
tale to be quite magical.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The delightful "Arabella" by Georgette Heyer

This book is a delight to read. The story is refreshing,
light and wonderful. I enjoyed this book immensely.

Arabella is sent to London to make her debut in polite society
of the Regency times. Coming from a country town London
is quite fascinating and new to her. There is much to delight in and
enjoy with the new fashions and parties and society balls.

Georgette Heyer is known as the queen
of the Regency romance and this book certainly lives up to form
with the wonderful descriptions of dress, fashions and formality during
these years. The etiquette, manners and decorum all play their
place in the story. I loved reading of the refinement of the times, London in
the Regency where elegantly dressed ladies and gentlemen would display
their fine horses and curricles in the parks where they would often go for
an outing in the mornings; the humour of a situation where Mr Beaumarris's grand-mother
tells him that his grand-father would turn in his grave to see the young men
dressed without lace at their collars and wrists and without powder in their hair.

Mr Beaumarris is the perfect English gentleman whom Arabella
forms an attachment to.

The story sparkles and Arabella does unknowingly give herself away as not quite
the society girl as people are led to believe with her concerns
for a chimney sweep and a poorly treated mongrel dog who she requests
Mr Beaumarris to look after when she realises that the dog may not be welcome after
all at her place of residence in London.

Being young, a little rebellious and acting without thinking Arabella does inadvertently get into a scrape of momentous proportions as regards the expectations of society where she is mistakenly believed to be a wealthy heiress.
Matters are not helped by the appearance of a younger brother in London who becomes embroiled
in difficulties of great magnitude.
I was surprised by the ending of the story which is quite admirable and pleasing. Mr Beaumarris proves his worth as a romantic hero of the story.

A wonderful romance well worth reading.

I will have to look out for more Georgette Heyer books as they are such a delight
to read.

“These Old Shades” is a book I remember enjoying as it was
an exquisiste story of a girl who became disguised as a page and also
found “The Conqueror” to be an excellent informative account of the Norman conquest
of England.
In recent years I also
read “The Nonesuch” which I enjoyed reading.

When I see you smile

Another lovely song: This by Bic Runga: