What's Bred in the Bone: Cornish Trilogy, Book 2 (The Cornish Trilogy #2)
Francis Cornish was always good at keeping secrets. From the well-hidden family secret of his childhood to his mysterious encounters with a small-town embalmer, an expert art restorer, a Bavarian countess, and various masters of espionage, the events in Francis' life were not always what they seemed.
This wonderfully ingenious portrait of an art expert and collector of inte...more
The other Robertson Davies I tried to read was The Cunning Man and I had to abort. It just wasn't serving my needs. This one was better. In fact, at the end of the book I liked it better, much better, than at the beginning. The novel began to get interesting for me at about the three-quarters mark. Up to that point there was too much quirk, and meandering, for my taste. Quirky books should bear a sticker, like the Oprah book club sticker but for quirk, so I know to stay away from them.
At the end ...more
I say "light novel of ideas" rather than "novel of light ideas" because the themes at the heart of the book (belief and the construction of the se ...more
Francis Cornish, whose life tale this is, is a loveable scoundrel--sometimes more loveable, sometimes more sco ...more
While the writing style felt old fashioned to me, Davies' wit and charm, especially when he's being satiric, is extremely engaging. Sometimes we laughed out loud; sometimes we discussed the issues raised in the novel. If the satire had continued at the same rate through the entire novel, I would have given this five stars instead of four, but the novel ...more
So saying, "What's Bred in the Bone" is by far my favorite. (And yes, Davies does remind me a little of John Irving.)The whole story around the art forgery is fascinating.(A topic I love - see "Drawn to Trouble: Confessions of an Art Forger" by Eric Hebborn if you want to re-examine some of your ideas abo ...more
This is apparently part of a trilogy. I only read this one as it was the only one recommended in the list.
During the first 50 pages I was dreading the book because it seemed to be a bunch of English sensibilities and courtship stuff: material I try to avoid (I don't like Jane Austen). I was set to give it a 1 and get rid o ...more
The tone in this second novel of the Cornish Trilogy is markedly different from its predecessor, The Rebel Angels. While not the comedy of the more frantically paced Rebel Angels, What's Bred in the Bone rests upon the same premise, that the drama in one's life is at heart psychological, ...more
The title is taken from an old English saying: what's bred in the bone will out in the flesh. Marvellous!
And if you like all the above, then there reall ...more