2014: 49. The New Moon With The Old

"She did not believe in omens but instantly knew this was a good one: the afternoon sun, coming from behind the clouds, had turned the grey of the glass dome to a shimmer of gold."

The New Moon With The Old, Dodie Smith

I have to warn you that I went on a binge of straight up good old fashioned pleasure reading, and a lot of fluff is to follow (not that I'm reading too much, say, Doestevsky on my good days).  My dad gave me ye old Amazon gift card for my birthday, and I spent it on a whole stack of books that were pure enjoyment, no mental taxing allowed.   This is the first.

It's by the author of I Capture the Castle, which, if it isn't one of my favorite books is only because I came across it too late in life to fall deeply in love (I suspect you find all your favorite books by the time you are twenty).  But it's a grand read, the story of a young girl growing up poor in a decrepit castle (oh, those British aristocracts), and if you somehow haven't read it, you should.  It's on the Pursuit of Love/Auntie Mame list of books you should be reading instead of this blog.* Oh, and she also wrote 101 Dalmations.

Anyway, this book isn't quite as good as that, but it's fun nonetheless.  It starts off with a secretary arriving in an English mansion where everything is too good to be true.  It's the 1960's, but the place runs like something out of the 20's - good food, good servants, warm.  She's been hired by the man of the house, who is rarely around, to look after the house and keep an eye on his almost grown children.  It's soon clear that she's fallen for both the man and the family, and you think, oh, it's that kind of story.  But it veers! Soon we learn that the man has committed some sort of fraud, and he has to go on the run (the money goes with him, bien sur!).  And the oasis is gone - the four children (well, young adults) need to fend for themselves.  And the secretary is no longer our hero - we follow the children on their somewhat amazing adventures instead.  

Loved it.  It's not particularly intellectual, or plausible for that matter, but I enjoyed every page.  I have a tiny quibble about how our original protaganist is thrown to the dogs at the end (only emotionally - the author seems to have tired of her), but otherwise, if you like charming English novels, you will like this one.  Great fun (especially the one whose life ambition is to be mistress to a King, but gets a very progressive for the time ending).

*I have definitely blogged about I Capture the Castle, but it must reside in ye olde archives which I am diligently trying to finally transfer! 

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017