March felt like a good month to get more books, though since last year I’ve been trying to read all of the books that I own before buying new ones. This haul consists of both novels and short story collections, almost all of them written by women. Some have been on my wish list for ages, others are more recent discoveries.
Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
Inspired by Johannes Vermeer’s famous painting, Girl with a Pearl Earring tells the story of Griet, a servant girl who becomes the student and muse of the Dutch painter. Scandal erupts when he gives her his wife’s pearl earrings to wear for a portrait. I’ve been meaning to read this historical fiction novel for ages and hopefully won’t be disappointed.
Salt Slow by Julia Armfield
Julia Armfield’s debut collection of short stories is supposedly filled with lyrical prose and dark humour. How could I resist buying it? Various feelings are explored in these tales: isolation, obsession, love and revenge.
Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
Hannah Kent’s debut novel has been on my wish list for ages. It is set in Northern Iceland in 1829 and tells the story of a woman who is condemned to death after being accused of killing her lover. Before her execution, she has to be taken in by a family. I’ve been in the mood for historical fiction recently and am hoping to like this book at least as much as I did The Good People.
Don’t Look Now and Other Stories by Daphne du Maurier
It has been almost a year since I last read a book by Daphne du Maurier, who is becoming one of my favourite authors. This collection of five short stories is said to be evocative and haunting. I don’t doubt it! In the titular story, a couple travels to Venice to try to dwindle the pain of losing their daughter.
Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne du Maurier
I couldn’t resist buying another of Daphne du Maurier’s novels. The main character in the Frenchman’s Creek, Lady Dona St Columb, longs for freedom and true love. Bored of the frivolity of court life, she moves to Navron, her husband’s Cornish estate, where she meets a daring pirate. I’m intrigued already!
O Irmão Alemão (My German Brother) by Chico Buarque
When he was 22 years old, the Brazilian author Chico Buarque discovered that he had a brother in Germany, where his father had lived in between 1929 and 1930. This part of his past is the source of inspiration for this short novel / novella.
The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West
Although the synopsis of this book sounds interesting, I have to confess that this was mostly a cover buy. When a soldier returns from the war, he has three women waiting for him: his wife (Kitty), his devoted cousin (Jenny) and his first love (Margaret). The problem is that he can only remember one of them.
Spring by Ali Smith
The third novel in the Seasonal Quartet, Spring is as difficult to describe as the previous ones. From what I could gather, it focuses on a man that is mourning the past and on a woman that feels trapped in modern times. It also blends together Brexit, Beethoven, Shakespeare, Charlie Chaplin and Katherine Mansfield.
Have you read any of these books? What books have you bought recently? Tell me in the comments!