Currently reading

Paul Hanley
A Month in the Country
Michael Holroyd, J.L. Carr
A Tale of the Dispossessed: A Novel
Laura Restrepo, Dolores M. Koch
Mesabi Pioneers
Jeffrey Smith, Russell Hill
The Crusades Through Arab Eyes
Jon Rothschild, Amin Maalouf
Island of a Thousand Mirrors
Nayomi Munaweera

Enchanted August: A Novel

Enchanted August: A Novel - Brenda Bowen Lovely summer reading. It's an update of Enchanted April, so of course the differences stood out rather clearly. In updating the story, the biggest thing to take care of was the fact that there would be no servants available for a Maine summer cottage, so these strangers would have to figure out how to share a workload. Bowen started out with that, but then had it worked out a little too quickly by having Beverly (who is now a man) take over the kitchen. Well, there are the two biggest changes: no servants and Beverly is a man. A gay man, of course. And then the plot had to do something a little more interesting. The original plot is very stripped down, a very straight line from unhappy beginning to unhappy ending. Bowen threw in a false ending: everything good, then crisis, then everything more or less good, mostly. It's a little more nuanced (the original is not nuanced at all). The result is an entertaining read. There's a charm that is very much, well, changed, in going from Italy in April to a Maine island in August, but the goal was to change and update the story, so I suppose it made sense. So it's a good update, but it doesn't replace the original by any stretch of the imagination.

I got a copy of this from First to Read.