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She Sings of Old, Unhappy, Far-off Things

4.15  ·  Rating Details ·  71 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
Margaret Braithwaite was a rising Regency scholar and an acclaimed author. Thirty years later, she’s a one-book wonder, a fifty-something college professor with the dubious distinction of being an expert on Jane Austen, hidden in the shadow of her famous husband and his Civil War novels. “Too young to retire, and too old to start over,” Margaret feels as dried up and dead ...more
Paperback, 308 pages
Published April 22nd 2014 by Corgyn Publishing, LLC
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Oct 25, 2014 Penny rated it it was amazing
I won't go into plot details, because it's all pretty much outlined in the blurb. But oh boy, let's see: we have (1) the journey of an intelligent, fifty-something woman, (2) extremely tied to social conventions, (3) trying desperately, albeit subtly, to free herself from her husband's larger-than-life influence, (4) while falling in love with her thirty-something gardener, who happens to be another woman. I know, it all might seem too dramatic. In fact, it is. But hang on.

In Ms. Werlinger's han
Charming book, filled with elegant and beautiful writing and multilayered characters (even the dog character is well drawn). Once again a full five stars for an excellent piece of fiction from an excellent storyteller.
The first thing I noticed about the book was the title. Coupled with the first paragraph of the book blurb, it turned me off instantly. :) Who wants to read about an old, unhappy (and probably cranky) woman who's "dried up and dead" like her neglected garden? If not for all the people who took time to leave reviews on GR, I'd have missed this little-promoted gem. Turns out the book title is a snippet from a beautiful but plaintive Wordsworth poem. And it isn't about the older character in the ...more
Nov 19, 2014 angie rated it really liked it
I finished She Sings of Old, Unhappy, Far-off Things a few days ago, but needed some time to think about it. The writing is most definitely lovely and the story compelling. There is a lot going on in the novel and the author's style makes you want to savor every single word. The characters talk to themselves way more than I'm used to in fiction, but don't many of us do that in real life?

She Sings can dig down deep and pull at the reader's heartstrings. Though nothing like this has ever happened
Oct 29, 2015 Megzz rated it liked it
2.5, rounded to 3 for good writing.

I guess I expected more from this because of all the wonderful reviews.

I thought the story was very long, slow, really boring at times. I didn't like the characters much. One "dried up" 52 year old woman married to a horrible 80 year old insensitive homophobic guy with cancer. How did this happen? What kind of person would make such a decision as to spend their life with this kind of man? This was one really unattractive trait. And one 30 something butch garde
Dec 14, 2015 Netty rated it liked it
Christ I didn't think the turmoil would ever end, I didn't enjoy this as much as cast me gently, "Margaret " I wanted to shake the living daylights out of her and I won't even start on wyck although I will say how much can one be messed about.....
I think the author took the will she won't she way too far, It just ended up being way too frustrating to a point of being too far fetched....
This won't deter me from reading the rest of her books because I do generally feel this author is very talente
Jen Silver
Jun 13, 2016 Jen Silver rated it it was amazing
Like some other reviewers, I put off reading this book because of the title. This was clearly a mistake - as bad as judging a book by its cover - and I'm glad that I finally took the plunge. And once I got past the title, I was immediately drawn into the story.

Ms. Werlinger is a talented storyteller and this is a great read. I finished it in two days and the only reason it took that long was because I had to sleep and do a few other things.

Now it looks like I've got a wonderful back catalogue o
Apr 16, 2015 Bib rated it really liked it
This book is a keeper.
Terry Baker
Jun 02, 2014 Terry Baker rated it it was amazing
Margaret Braithwaite was an up and coming Regency scholar, as well as a published author. All that changed for her when she married Gavin, a college professor almost thirty years her senior. After her marriage, Margaret’s talents were overshadowed by her famous husband until over the years, they were virtually non existent. As the years go past, Margaret becomes a shadow of her former self, just floating along in Gavin’s wake.

Asheville landscape architect, Wyck Fitzsimmons, is hired by Gavin to
Nov 25, 2016 Micheal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It takes time to know yourself

Margaret lives an academics live, forced to live within the constraints of others. Torn from her desired path with Julia she must adhere to the societal expectations of her children, her second husband, and her acedemic career. She is forced to give up what she wants, and without knowing, bow to the needs and expectations of others. Meeting the new gardener awakens her independence and all the frustration and drama that becomes part of her life takes over her quest
Nov 25, 2016 Annika rated it it was ok
Shelves: beach-reads
Guess I should read blurbs of free books before reading them. It's just your classic girl meets girl, but girl (OK, older woman) is married...
This story is too drawn out, way too many 'obstacles' were contrived and some of the characters, although not very well fleshed out, were just downright annoying. but there were enough snippets of humor and good dialogue that I did finish it.
Tony Hisgett
Nov 29, 2016 Tony Hisgett rated it it was ok
Shelves: romance
The story is OK but Margaret annoyed me so much that I almost gave the book just one star. I understood why she was so reluctant to stand up for herself at the start of the book, but this just went on right to the end of the book.
Oct 29, 2015 Ulla rated it it was amazing
This novel was a really pleasant surprise for me. I'm tired of the lesbian novel where the two meet, get together, jump into bed and then mostly stay there.
In Werlinger's novel the two meet but there's so much happening before they even get to bed.
One has a highly interesting job doing gardens and I really loved to sweat there with her carrying stones and digging.
The other one is a teacher of English literature, and I wish they'd talked more about Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters. And I loved
Jun 11, 2015 Regina rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
A book I would never have came across nor read if not for the reviews here, which I am very grateful for since I would have missed out on this little gem of a book. Simply lovely writing that evokes wispy touches of longing, ache and tenderness, all tied up in a sweet May-December romance that made me believe in simple love and happily ever afters. Lovely. :)
Jun 26, 2015 Kennedy rated it it was amazing
Margaret and Wyck are secondary characters compared to Mandy. She is a keeper along with this wonderful story of not settling. I have really enjoyed stories written by this author, Caren J. Werlinger. So much depth and interesting characters.
Class Julie
Class Julie rated it it was amazing
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May 31, 2014
Ginna rated it it was amazing
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Nicole Hunter rated it really liked it
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Lia A rated it it was amazing
Dec 29, 2015
Joanne Elizabeth Pottinger
Joanne Elizabeth Pottinger rated it really liked it
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From the author's website: I was raised in Ohio, the oldest of four children. Much of my childhood was spent reading everything I could get my hands on, and writing my own variations on many of those stories where I could play the hero, rescuing the girl and winning her love. Then I grew up and went to college where I completed a degree in foreign languages and later another in physical therapy wh ...more
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