Thursday, June 25, 2015

Pegasus by Danielle Steel


Pegasus is a wonderful novel by author Danielle Steel.  It is a beautiful story of two families, who left familiar homes and country to start a new life in USA and also England.  The war years intervened and the story continues to the following generations.  This novel is very inspirational and also gives the reader a sense of belonging to this story.  It certainly is an achievement as the characters of the novel seem so real.

I loved the story, which opens in the beginning chapters in Bavaria, Germany and continues the narrative in USA and gives the reader  an understanding of the lives the people led before the intervention of the war years and how lives were disrupted and also how fortunes could change.
This book is also a beautiful story of the Lipizzaner horses, beautiful horses which were trained for the Spanish Riding School.  This aspect of the novel is also quite beautiful and very poignant to read of the bonds which were formed between the horses and their owners, in particular, the beautiful white horse, Pegasus, and Nicky, a main character of the novel.

This book is a wonderful story of life and love, friendships which endured and a story of the main characters and how their lives panned out over many years, which entailed even working in a circus in USA,which in itself, was a revelation for the wonderful descriptions of circus life and the animals as well as the life in the circus for Nicky and his two sons, Tobias and Lucas.  The story of Pegasus and the links formed between the two families, of which Pegasus is a saving grace, is a recurring theme of the novel.   A wonderful story and well recommended. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The House by the Dvina by Eugenie Fraser

The House by the Dvina, A Russian Childhood by Eugenie Fraser
This is the most wonderful book describing the beauty of living in Old Russia during the author’s childhood.  A fascinating insight into a beautiful era which is now lost.  The author’s parents were Scottish and Russian.  Her mother left Scotland as a young bride to live in Archangel, Russia with her husband.  The author was born in Russia.
Included in the story are relatives, friends and family and what a story it is!  So beautiful initially with sometimes holidays also to Scotland.  The wonder of the fairyland of beauty during the winter when all was cold and still and the river froze over but yet there were incredible scenic delights and splendours.  Wonderful sleigh and reindeer rides, travelling on sledges and memorable Christmas and Easter celebrations.  Midnight Easter services with lighted candles and laden Easter tables with Easter eggs and wonderful delicacies. 
  However, this idyll was not to last as the Bolsheviks even came to Archangel eventually with their policies.
 So many changes and disruptions to the families and people who had lived and worked all their lives in Russia.
The stories of the people are quite incredible and also beautiful.  There is also wonderful romance and fascinating detail regarding life in Old Russia, even stories from the earlier generations, of a great-grand-father who married a serf and of long journeys through the snow.
There was the beauty of life by the River Dvina which was a source of much needed water, vital for washing and also wonderful during the summer time for bathing and boating.   A beautiful garden and summer houses and a house with balconies overlooking the river whereby could be seen the glow of the sunset at the end of a summer’s day.  This was the last the author saw of this beautiful house from a boat which crested a wave and she could see the house bathed in a beautiful sunset glow.
This book certainly is a book to think about afterwards.  So much beauty and fascination within its pages and the tragedy of events for many of the characters in the story which finally followed are not revealed until the end of the book.
An excellent story and well recommended.