Sunday, May 31, 2015

A more detailed review of A Week in Winter by Maeve Binchy

This is a later review which gives more information:

A Week in Winter by Maeve Binchy
This novel is a wonderful read and well recommended.  A lovely novel which I enjoyed.
This book portrays the difficulties of young women in the early days of Ireland in the 1950’s and continues with the stories of the characters to the present day and how they overcame their difficulties in life.  Chicky, who left Ireland at an early age and made a life for herself in USA but eventually returns to the place she always loved.
A week in winter is a beautiful holiday destination on the wild coast of Ireland where some of the characters resolve their differences and learn to live with one another.  The holiday alters their perspectives on life and they decide upon their futures.  It is a wonderful book.  There is the story of the accountant who is expected to join his father’s firm in Sweden but instead enjoys the freedom of travelling in Ireland and becoming immersed in the rich Irish heritage and music when he meets up with a travelling companion and they go to music gigs together. 
Each person has a unique character and often a perplexing or difficult background.  It is wonderful to read about these characters and how they change their lives for the better. 
This book cannot be more highly recommended.  I loved reading this story about the various people who chose to go on holiday to this special place in Ireland.  It is quite extraordinary in the way that people’s lives could work out the way they did and also there is romance alive in this novel.
It also details some of the challenges young people have to face in early life or difficulties encountered bringing up a child who is veering towards leading a life of crime and how the situation is reversed for the better. 
There is also the story of the mother and the prospective daughter-in-law who do not see eye to eye and do not get along.  However, this situation also is resolved in the end.  It is quite incredible, really.  Maeve Binchy also writes about life and she does this so well. 
A beautiful novel of charm to read.

A Week in Winter by Maeve Binchy

A Week in Winter by Maeve Binchy
This wonderful novel by Mave Binchy is a story about life.  The author writes so well about the people who inhabit the pages of this magnificent story of life and love, of general direction in life, the stories of the main characters who at one time meet up at a beautiful place on the west coast of Ireland.
 The story flows and gives wonderful insights into the lives of the characters, their place in society and how their lives pan out in directions they would never have believed possible.  It is an extraordinary story told with spirit and optimism.
This book is well recommended.  The characters are diverse, the situations different and the setting of a magnificent backdrop of the Irish coast is a delight.  Readers and followers of Maeve Binchy will enjoy reading this latest novel published in 2012. 
A Week in Winter is an exciting book to read with an unusual set of circumstances which do tend to make the reader think about life and its many complexities.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

The Girl Next Door by Ruth Rendell

The Girl Next Door by Ruth Rendell

This book by Ruth Rendell gives an interesting perspective of England in the days of the 1930’s and 1940’s.  A crime is not resolved until many years later when the children and adolescents of the 1930’s and 1940’s who are now older look back to a time when they were young and used to play in the qanats or tunnels on the outskirts of London.   It was also a time when they often had to take shelter underground during the air raids.
What appeals to me about this book is that it is such a wonderful portrayal of life and characters and how they choose to live their lives, the dilemmas they have faced and how they go about resolving their differences.  The story is quite unusual and also complex in the beginning as there are many characters to keep track of initially.
This book has a charm and a quality quite unique which I enjoyed for the eccentricities of the main characters  who seemed very human.  Ruth Rendell is writing about life in this regard.  Rosemary and Alan, children and grand-children and the dilemma and shock Rosemary has to deal with, Michael and his children and elderly father who had sent him away at an early age.
This book is quite an unusual story but wonderful for a portrayal of the early years in England during the war years and also for being able to understand the qualities of people in different circumstances and an uncanny knack of knowing how people will react to certain situations.  A very good book to read.  This book also seemed very real to life with the interesting portrayals of the characters.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Regent's Park by Paul Rabbitts

Regent’s Park
From Tudor Hunting Ground to the Present
By Paul Rabbitts
I have enjoyed reading this wonderful book which tells the story of
the development of Regent’s Park over time.  This book gives fascinating
insights into the decisions of the times and the workings of parliament and
local bodies.
A majestic park, which was once a forest, nearly lost during the time of Queen
Mary I and subsequently destroyed is by Oliver Cromwell, who had many of the
trees in the forest cut down for timber.  There are prints included and also
aquatints which show the park from earlier times.  There is a lovely rural scene of
Marylebone Park, which was its previous name in 1750.  There was a Plan of Improvements
For Marylebone Park in 1809 by John White, which preserved rural characteristics with
Housing around its perimeter.  It is mentioned that White’s design would have influenced
John Nash’s ideas but that White was never acknowledged.
After reading so much of the history of the park, the villas, and people who occupied them, the
stories of the architects and the wonderful town planning of the park and Regent Street I would
like to visit Regent’s Park on a visit to London.
 The history is wonderful and this book by Paul Rabbitts describes in detail the beauty of the designs of the villas and gardens of Regent’s Park.  For all who love London, this book is a treasure.  It also gives information regarding the greenery and recreation areas needed as cities grew in population.  A wonderful informative read!
Pictures of the various villas are included and also the beautiful flower gardens and lake.  A wonderful chapter on “Regents Park: a literary park” describes the wonders of the literary poets and writers and their impressions of the park given in their stories   and also songs, as for example, references to singers and the park’s alluring qualities.  To be at the top of Primrose Hill and see a beautiful sunrise is extraordinary and described as being very beautiful.  A wonderful experience which seems to be magical.

It is indeed fortunate that this park is now available for the enjoyment of visitors, tourists and people because of decisions made by The Regent and also John Nash who was responsible for many of the designs.  People interested in town planning would also enjoy reading this book. 

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Poetry for Poetry in Pariadise 2014 - What is Love

A poem for Poetry in Paradise of 2014 - What is Love

Poetry for December 2014

What is Love?

From marble top mountains
To a grand plateau
The golden light streams
In infinite reams
Mirrored in your dreams-
Beckoning glorious wonders
Upon the morrow;
Intricate, reeling,
This golden light:

Is this beauty love?
For all to see
Which sets us free?
Or more-
Faith, hope, love,
Do these embody love
-for eternity?

We go to other reams-
An aching heart
A dull ache-
Sorrow, sadness,
Joy,  togetherness-
Does this mean love?
Love for a person, or animals,
Friends, family, relatives
Where does love end?
With all good wishes to send-
To a friend.

Love does not end-
It endures,
As seasons come and go
As infinite as the tides
Ebb and flow
Where ripples appear silver
In the moon’s tow
As a bird builds its nest
For its little chicks to rest,
In trees graceful
 and also knowing
Of the seasons
 coming and going;
 giving welcoming shade
and towards the end of day
 lengthening shadow over
sun-kiss’d fields of clover;
the pathway of a golden ray
Glorious in its way;
Delicate as a flower,
A golden daffodil,
In a sea of grass
Untrammelled as a sea-horse
On a rocky mountain pass;
Given to nature
by its stature-
Love which is meant to be,
Strong as a fortress tower
Never wavering, whichever way,
As a beautiful lady and her knight
In a garden bower
Surrounded by flowers of a sweet bouquet
Music, poetry and minstrels play;
Soft as a piano’s silent note
Beautiful as a lark
Of which nature’s seasons wrote
In a Summer’s Arc:
Love which cannot be
contained in the dark;
As the knight
To his lady said,
That, now,
“Thou shall be wed!”-
Summonsed by imagination
A ring of diamond stones
Glittering  bright as any
of queens sitting on thrones;
 Thus the knight
pledges his troth
as was his wont-
 romance, chivalry

Graceful as a swan
On a river of dreams,
 Or a gazelle-
Gracious as in Solomon’s Song;
Beauteous as a lily
In a river throng-
where daisies and buttercups
Lift their faces to the summer sun
This colourful scene:-
And at the end of the day,
Sheltered by night
Cooled by breezes light
They dip their little faces,
 nod in conspiracy
and sagely agree
this lily is the decorative one.

A majestic tree
In a Russian land
Leaves shimmering
 in myriads of patterns
of light-
Burnished gold, sunset colours
Entrancing, enchanting,
As coins tossed and turned
and glimmering
in wayward delight;
A message of love to deliver-
The secret rites of nature.
When the light of a golden dawn
Touches gently upon the tops of trees,
Glimmers on roof-tops,
 over fields and across the lawn
newly sprinkled with drops of dew
Seeing nature itself renew
Then we see beauty from above
The wonder and magic of love.