Mikki's Reviews > A Month in the Country

A Month in the Country by J.L. Carr
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Apr 02, 12

bookshelves: novellas, nyrb, britian
Recommended to Mikki by: Novella Group April Pick
Read from March 30 to April 01, 2012

res-to-ra-tion, noun
1. The act of restoring; renewal, revival, or reestablishment
2. a return of something to a former, original , normal, or unimpaired condition

Tom Birkin is a man looking back -- reflecting on a single summer in his youth after just returning from war, with spirits dulled, and mind and emotions still covered in battlefield residue.

Hired to restore a recently discovered 14th century church mural in rural Yorkshire, Birkin looks forward to a fresh start with no worries and just the simple mission of uncovering a wall-painting. "...to forget what the war had done to me…and begin where I'd left off. "

This is a tale of an individual scaling down to basics (chipping away the past, if you will), and slowly returning to life through discoveries of nature's small gifts, and the large rewards of community, friendship and possibly... new love.

"There are times when man and earth are one, when the pulse of living beats strong, when life is brimming with promise...It is now or never; we must snatch at happiness as it flies.”

Beautiful, poetic language that slowly unfolds to tell a story of learning to live in the present and recognizing the now or never.

Solid 5 stars

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Reading Progress

04/01/2012 page 84
62.0% "It's difficult to continue moving forward in a book when you keep flipping back and re-reading the beautiful passages."

Comments (showing 1-50 of 51) (51 new)


message 1: by Sue (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sue You belong to a novella group!?
There is a novella group!?

Well I should know if there was one you would find it. I thought of you today when I bought a kindle short story book from an email of specials I got the morning.


Anne what email of special?


Mikki YES!!! :D Hahahah, Sue, you know how much I love my novellas -- no filler. Can't believe that you purchased without my knowing...Um, are you closet shopping now?


Mikki Anne wrote: "what email of special?"

Exactly!


Anne She usually tells me about these things, but this time it's a secret. :)

Actually, usually I get those emails. Don't know why they stopped.


Mikki Although I don't own an actual Kindle, I'm able to download the sales onto my PC Kindle as a Prime Member perk. I look forward to the specials.

Wonder why she's suddenly holding out on us...


message 7: by Sue (last edited Mar 24, 2012 05:02PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sue Actually I was wondering if you both got it ... it's a week long bunch of specials, not just kindle. I'll forward it to both of you. I think I only found 2 books (or maybe it was 3 or 4) but I haven't checked the music part yet.

(ain't I subtle...throwing that out there to see what you would say. of course I am subscribed to a bunch of emails for amazon)


Anne It's only 2 or maybe 3 or 4! Nice. LOL Not so subtle, my dear. I don't get the kindle deals anymore; not even the daily deal. I depend on you.


Anne Mikki wrote: "Although I don't own an actual Kindle, I'm able to download the sales onto my PC Kindle as a Prime Member perk. I look forward to the specials.

Wonder why she's suddenly holding out on us..."


Good question!


Mikki Sue wrote: "I think I only found 2 books (or maybe it was 3 or 4) ..."

Ahahaha! Try 5 or 6, no? :D


message 11: by Tajma (new) - added it

Tajma Mikki, do you think you'll get that Art of the Novella collection you've been coveting?


message 12: by Mikki (last edited Mar 24, 2012 05:50PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mikki Tajma wrote: "Mikki, do you think you'll get that Art of the Novella collection you've been coveting?"

Yes, without a doubt, even though I own many of them already.


Mikki Thanks, Declan. I know that you are planning on suggesting Housekeepingfor your book club, but keep this book in mind as well. A lot for discussion here.


Declan I will certainly keep it in mind Mikki. From what you write it sounds really appealing, and by now I know I can trust your judgement of books. It would also meet my self-imposed stipulation that the next book I pick must be a short one, because my last choice, Gate of the Sun, was a complex and long novel, although also a superb one. It will be a few months before I next get to pick, meanwhile one of the other members of our little group will choose a title on Thursday night. I'll let you know what she chooses!


message 15: by Tajma (new) - added it

Tajma This one of your best reviews. Solid 5 stars goes right into my shopping cart...


message 16: by Anne (new) - rated it 4 stars

Anne Tajma wrote: "This one of your best reviews. Solid 5 stars goes right into my shopping cart..."

Ditto.


Mikki Thanks, Anne & Taj. I often back pedal on my 5 star reviews after a week or so and lower them by one or half a star, but I stand (sit) steadfast by this one!

Declan, I haven't heard of Gate of the Sun, but am going to look it up now because your book choices have never steered me wrong. Yes, please let me know what she chooses.


message 18: by Tajma (new) - added it

Tajma Mikki wrote: "Thanks, Anne & Taj. I often back pedal on my 5 star reviews after a week or so and lower them by one or half a star, but I stand (sit) steadfast by this one!

Declan, I haven't heard of [book:Gate..."


Why do you often backpedal on a 5 star?


Mikki Tajma wrote: "Why do you often backpedal on a 5 star?..."

I don't do it nearly as often and that's because I usually wait a few days before rating recently finished novels. I need to allow things to settle and not make impetuous decisions which is another reason why I tend to sit a while before posting reviews.


message 20: by Tajma (new) - added it

Tajma Reading this review makes me want to do a better job with my own. It's really helpful when someone takes the time to write a truly thoughtful and incisive review.


Mikki Thanks, Tajma. I enjoy reading reviews and also writing them though they may come weeks even months after finishing a novel. I tend to take a lot of notes while reading so most reviews are 90% ready to go, but often I'm not. When the mood strikes the review gets written -- no self-induced pressure.

If others don't feel compelled to write a review then I get it and will just ask questions pertaining to their rating.


message 22: by Sue (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sue I agree, Mikki, wonderful review. I do want to read this and I do hope to see the movie again one day. I hope it is transferred to DVD before too long.


Mikki Thank you, Sue. I've looked for the movie on Netflix to no avail, but let's keep watch for one another. But you know that I'm forever spoiled now by the book.


message 24: by Sue (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sue I need to read it too, of course, but have to see the movie again.


message 25: by Jeanette (new) - added it

Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist" Hmmm...clearly I had this mixed up with another book that was not well received. I think the cover is similar to a different book. I'll have to look for this one. Thanks, Mikki.


message 26: by Sue (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sue Silly me, I didn't realize that it is possible to get the movie now, since late 2010, but it can only be played on play-only devices per Amazon. $17.99 (I just checked) this is for U.S. area dvd)


Mikki Jeanette, Thank you. Curious as to what book you had in mind... Anyway, this was is very quiet and not really action driven, but instead focuses more on the characters and their interactions. I see that you added it, so I hope that you enjoy.

Sue, I'll check Amazon.


message 28: by Jeanette (new) - added it

Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist" Mikki, I can't think of the book's name, just the cover. It's more recently written, and something to do with the Mediterranean, I think. Maybe it has "nights" in the title. Anyway, I remember looking at it in the library and then here on GR, and the average rating wasn't good. And of course, now I'll go nuts until I figure it out.


Declan Hi Mikki, If on a Winter's Night a Traveller is the next choice for my local bookclub. I'm very pleased that we'll be reading Calvino as he is one of the writers I keep meaning to return to.


message 30: by Sue (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sue Declan, I hope to read that book before too long. I've never read anything by Calvino but have heard that book is quite interesting.


Declan It is well worth reading Sue. I read it before, quite a while back, and enjoyed it's maze-like quality, with false trails and enticing cul-de-sacs. It's an adventure story, but the adventure is in the reading.


message 32: by Sue (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sue I'm looking forward to it. Thanks.


message 33: by Anne (new) - rated it 4 stars

Anne Declan wrote: "It is well worth reading Sue. I read it before, quite a while back, and enjoyed it's maze-like quality, with false trails and enticing cul-de-sacs. It's an adventure story, but the adventure is in ..."

This book is getting higher and higher on my tbr.


Mikki Declan wrote: "Hi Mikki, If on a Winter's Night a Traveller is the next choice for my local bookclub. I'm very pleased that we'll be reading Calvino as he is one of the writers I keep meaning to return to..."

That's a great choice for a group read. I actually just read it last month for the first time and really liked how Calvino includes the reader in the mystery. The opening pages were some of my favorite -- bossy little book.


Mikki Anne and Sue, Declan described it perfectly in saying that it's an adventure.


message 36: by Anne (new) - rated it 4 stars

Anne Mikki wrote: "Anne and Sue, Declan described it perfectly in saying that it's an adventure."

It's on it's way to me now.


message 37: by Sue (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sue I'm contemplating getting it. Are you buying or getting from the library, Anne?


message 38: by Anne (new) - rated it 4 stars

Anne I'm buying it. It's my first book purchase since my big Bookcloseouts haul.


message 39: by Sue (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sue You are good Anne...much more restrained than I. I need to learn that skill; instead I', browsing the closeout books at Amazon. Many more bargains than I've seen for a while and I'm working on controlling my mouse.


message 40: by Anne (new) - rated it 4 stars

Anne I wasn't so restrained during that sale. Just looking at all the books I have at home to read is enough to keep me from buying more books. But, I had to make an exception with this one.


message 41: by Tajma (new) - added it

Tajma Anne wrote: "I wasn't so restrained during that sale. Just looking at all the books I have at home to read is enough to keep me from buying more books. But, I had to make an exception with this one."

I need to slow down as well. I made a nice dent in my TBR shelf during vacation and now it's overflowing again. My willpower is pretty much nonexistent!


message 42: by Sue (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sue Willpower...I'm not sure I know what that is when it comes to books. Maybe the books need to fall on my head.


message 43: by Anne (new) - rated it 4 stars

Anne Sue wrote: " Maybe the books need to fall on my head."

What good would that do, Sue? Give you a concussion so that you're incapacitated and unable to search for or purchase books?


message 44: by Tajma (new) - added it

Tajma Anne, I think she'd manage even while concussed!!


Mikki Anne wrote: "I'm buying it. It's my first book purchase since my big Bookcloseouts haul."

Are you kidding me???


message 46: by Anne (last edited Apr 09, 2012 09:38AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Anne Mikki wrote: "Anne wrote: "I'm buying it. It's my first book purchase since my big Bookcloseouts haul."

Are you kidding me???"


Nope. But you don't know how many Boxes of books I bought in that sale.


message 47: by Anne (new) - rated it 4 stars

Anne Tajma wrote: "Anne, I think she'd manage even while concussed!!"

LOL!


message 48: by Sue (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sue Tajma wrote: "Anne, I think she'd manage even while concussed!!"

Ah, you guys know me too well.


Mikki Anne wrote: "Nope. But you don't know how many Boxes of books I bought in that ..."

Look how Anne gave boxes a capital B.


message 50: by Anne (new) - rated it 4 stars

Anne Mikki wrote: "Anne wrote: "Nope. But you don't know how many Boxes of books I bought in that ..."

Look how Anne gave boxes a capital B."


I meant to capitalize the whole word.


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