Fionnuala’s review of The Heat Of The Day > Likes and Comments

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message 1: by Susana (new)

Susana Happy birthday, Fionnuala! (is it today?)


message 2: by Traveller (new)

Traveller Happy birthday, Fionnula, great to see that you're back to reading and reviewing again! :)


message 3: by Fionnuala (new)

Fionnuala Susana wrote: "Happy birthday, Fionnuala! (is it today?)"

Amanhã, Susana ;-)


message 4: by Fionnuala (new)

Fionnuala Traveller wrote: "Happy birthday, Fionnula, great to see that you're back to reading and reviewing again! :)"

Just getting the reviews up to date before the book of my life turns over a new page, Trav!


message 5: by Natasha (new)

Natasha Younger Happy birthday! I hope you have a wonderful time (and thank you as always for the perfect reviews).


message 6: by Fionnuala (new)

Fionnuala Thanks, Natasha — glad you enjoy the reviews.


message 7: by Katia (new)

Katia N Happy birthday, dear Fionnuala. I am so happy that you’ve seen a bit of light with this book’s help. Wonderful review and thank you for all enjoyment you bring over here. Have a fantastic day. (Ps I am a fellow ‘august person’ just a few days ahead of you:-))


message 8: by Violet (new)

Violet wells Auguri, Fi. It's been a while since I read this but a kind of marvel how vivid the scene you describe still is in my memory. The books we love can be like memories of first hand experience.


message 9: by Ilse (new)

Ilse Happy birthday (from another fellow 'august person'), Fionnuala! Wish you another great new page of living and reading :-). Glad this stop on your Bowen journey was such a rewarding read.


message 10: by Julie (new)

Julie What a fine write-up -- as always, Fionnuala. I enjoyed it so much in fact that I immediately wanted to add it to my TBR shelf -- only to find that I'd already tried it, and didn't like it. ??? I don't recall one syllable or impression from this book. So. What's that all about? I suppose not all authors are meant for all readers. Or, on this one, perhaps it's that I've never been able to see the forest for the trees, as my husband often tells me. I've never thought he was correct -- but after all these years of (me) making the same (false) judgments, I may just have to concede that he may be right after all! I do believe I will give Bowen another try.

And many happy returns of the day, Fionnuala -- as I note from other gr friends it's here ... or imminent! 🎂


message 11: by Fionnuala (new)

Fionnuala Katia wrote: "Happy birthday, dear Fionnuala. I am so happy that you’ve seen a bit of light with this book’s help. Wonderful review and thank you for all enjoyment you bring over here. Have a fantastic day. (Ps ..."

Belated greetings to you, Katia!
Yes, I'm back to full enjoyment of reading, and attempting to get back to full enjoyment of review writing…


message 12: by Fionnuala (new)

Fionnuala Violet wrote: "Auguri, Fi. It's been a while since I read this but a kind of marvel how vivid the scene you describe still is in my memory. The books we love can be like memories of first hand experience."

Grazie mille, Violetta!
I'm glad you've confirmed how powerful that passage was. And you're right, great scenes from literature can lodge themselves in our memories just as firmly as our real life experience. I'm certain I'll not easily forget that basement bar room.


message 13: by Fionnuala (new)

Fionnuala Ilse wrote: "Happy birthday (from another fellow 'august person'), Fionnuala! Wish you another great new page of living and reading :-). Glad this stop on your Bowen journey was such a rewarding read."

Lá breithe sona duit féin, a Ilse!
I'm excited to think of all the books waiting for me this coming year — but I'm happy with my current Bowen binge too. I still have one or two more to read...


message 14: by Fionnuala (new)

Fionnuala Julie wrote: "What a fine write-up -- as always, Fionnuala. I enjoyed it so much in fact that I immediately wanted to add it to my TBR shelf -- only to find that I'd already tried it, and didn't like it. ??? I don't recall one syllable or impression from this book..."

And that scene in the review was just one of many that left a big impression, Julie!
But I'd acknowledge that Bowen is not everyone's ideal writer. Hers is a very elite bunch of characters living in privileged circumstances for the most part. Their doings are often not very interesting — and some of them are not even easy to believe in. The Harrison character I mentioned is a good example. As I read, I began to feel he had no real life outside of the scenes he appears in. But just when I'd noticed that, I found a line showing that the main character had pretty much come to the same conclusion!
By the rules of fiction, with which life to be credible must comply, he was as a character ‘impossible’ – each time they met, for instance, he showed no shred or trace of having been continuous since they last met.
Bowen is always a step ahead of the reader.
And though, as I said, the characters' lives and dilemmas are sometimes difficult to relate to, the writing more than makes up for that. I find she suits me very well overall.


message 15: by Antigone (new)

Antigone Perhaps a present from Ms. Bowen, this momentary frisson to commemorate the day? And thank you for the gift of this author! (I am adding her to my list.) Best wishes, Fionnuala, and a cyber-balloon to add to all the rest!


message 16: by Paula (new)

Paula Kalin Delightful to receive such a present, Fionnuala. Fascinating plot.


message 17: by Fionnuala (new)

Fionnuala I took it in that mode, Antigone, a little gift inserted by the author between the lines — just for me!
And I'm glad you might read her. This one is quite different to the others, almost a noir. Harrison could have walked straight here from a Raymond Chandler book, and the very elegant Stella wouldn't be out of place in a Chandler story either. A good place to start with Bowen, I think.
And thanks for the good wishes:-)


message 18: by Belinda (new)

Belinda Carvalho That's a good point Fionnuala, I remember that scene, I'll have to re-read it. Elizabeth Bowen is such an interesting writer, she really brings the blitz to life for me.


message 19: by Fionnuala (new)

Fionnuala Paula wrote: "Delightful to receive such a present, Fionnuala. Fascinating plot."

It is quite an intricate plot, Paula. I enjoyed it a lot.


message 20: by Fionnuala (new)

Fionnuala Belinda wrote: "That's a good point Fionnuala, I remember that scene, I'll have to re-read it. Elizabeth Bowen is such an interesting writer, she really brings the blitz to life for me."

I thought I was right there in blitzed-out London, Belinda, what with the excerpts about the air-raid wardens, and the constant use of blackout blinds, and the entire streets that disappeared from one day to the next.


message 21: by TBV (new)

TBV An intriguing review, Fionnuala. This novel is calling out to me.
Also best wishes from me. May there be many wonderful books on your horizon.


message 22: by Tony (new)

Tony Happy Birthday, Fionnuala! And here it's you giving the present!


message 23: by Fionnuala (new)

Fionnuala TBV wrote: "An intriguing review, Fionnuala. This novel is calling out to me.
Also best wishes from me. May there be many wonderful books on your horizon."


There are a lot of themes in this book, TBV, apart from the predominant one about surviving in London through the blitz. A woman sacrifices her reputation not once but twice. A not young man leaves his beloved home to fight for his country while another man leaves his unloving home to do the opposite. A super sane woman hides from her life in a mental institution.
And while all the themes are woven together well, the author leaves certain things suspended — like life, novels shouldn't necessarily have to have everything explained in the end.


message 24: by Fionnuala (new)

Fionnuala Tony wrote: "Happy Birthday, Fionnuala! And here it's you giving the present!"

And now it's today, and your message is another present!


message 25: by Matt (new)

Matt Fionnuala wrote: "Amanhã"

Amanhã has become today, so Happy Birthday! :)

PS: Is it "(meta plot) twist" or "meta (plot twist)"?


message 26: by Angela M (new)

Angela M To feel as if you are in a scene in a book - that’s a tribute to the writer for sure.


message 27: by Fionnuala (new)

Fionnuala Matt wrote: "…PS: Is it "(meta plot) twist" or "meta (plot twist)"?"


I think today, Matt, that what I meant yesterday, was that this was a plot twist that had stepped beyond the normal type of plot twist. Another reader might not consider it to be so, but sometimes I read in a heightened state and what might not seem significant to others becomes outsize to me. This was such an outsize moment.


message 28: by Fionnuala (new)

Fionnuala Angela M wrote: "To feel as if you are in a scene in a book - that’s a tribute to the writer for sure."

Yes, I think so too, Angela. Bowen's writing makes me think deeply and feel, so intensely.


message 29: by Barbara (new)

Barbara What a moment that must have been for you, Fionnuala - a true aha moment. Again, you bring a new author to my attention. I definitely would like to read this.


message 30: by Judy (new)

Judy This was the first Elizabeth Bowen novel I read. She is a unique writer I think. She does things like this to me in each of the three books I have read.


message 31: by David (new)

David Fascinating!


message 32: by Laura (new)

Laura Great review; will have to re-read, although I do remember thinking this is her best.


message 33: by Fionnuala (new)

Fionnuala Barbara wrote: "What a moment that must have been for you, Fionnuala - a true aha moment. Again, you bring a new author to my attention. I definitely would like to read this."

That's it, Barbara!
Glad you might read Bowen.


message 34: by Fionnuala (new)

Fionnuala Judy wrote: "This was the first Elizabeth Bowen novel I read. She is a unique writer I think. She does things like this to me in each of the three books I have read."

Unique indeed, Judy. Her sentences trip me up sometimes, and I have to go back and reread them, as here for instance:
There still must be something that matters that one has forgotten, forgotten because at the time one did not realize how much it did matter.
But after a reread, they can bowl me over with how perceptive they are: She could perceive, too, that Roderick was ready to entertain a high, if abstract, idea of society –when he had been a baby she had amused him by opening and shutting a painted fan, and of that beau monde of figures, grouped and placed and linked by gestures or garlands, he never had, she suspected, lost interior sight. The fan on its fragile ivory spokes now remained closed: she felt him most happy when they could recreate its illusion in their talk. Yes, what he liked about people was the order in which they could be arranged...


message 35: by Fionnuala (new)

Fionnuala David wrote: "Fascinating!"

Glad you enjoyed this, David.


message 36: by Fionnuala (new)

Fionnuala Laura wrote: "Great review; will have to re-read, although I do remember thinking this is her best."

Delighted to remind you of a great reading memory, Laura.
And yes, it's definitely one of her best.


message 37: by Cheryl (last edited Aug 15, 2019 03:08PM) (new)

Cheryl A fascinating review that piqued my interest, Fionnuala. When I opened the book, I saw the dedication to Charles Ritchie. Hmm, I wondered if that is Canada's Charles Ritchie, a nationally famous diplomat whose diaries were bestsellers in the 80s and 90s (The Siren Years: A Canadian Diplomat Abroad 1937-1945 etc). A search brings up the Wikipedia entry on him: "The diaries document both his diplomatic career and his private life, including the beginning of his long love affair with the Anglo-Irish writer Elizabeth Bowen, which began in 1941 when he was still single and she married, survived through his marriage in 1948 and long periods of separation, lasting until Bowen's death in 1973".
I then learned that a book of their letters and diaries was another bestseller in Canada a few years ago. Love's Civil War: Elizabeth Bowen and Charles Ritchie, Letters and Diaries 1941-1973

Happy birthday, Fionnuala.


message 38: by Fionnuala (new)

Fionnuala Thanks for those links, Cheryl. When I followed them, I saw that I'd already read goodreads friend Violet's review of the letters and diaries. It seems Ritchie may have been the model for Stella's double agent lover in this book so your calling attention to him is extra interesting. Though I'm a bit surprised that Ritchie, as a diplomat, could have been pleased to see himself portrayed as someone prepared to betray his country. Still, it makes the story even more fascinating.


ReemK10 (Paper Pills) Happy birthday bebby ❤🌹🌷


message 40: by Fionnuala (new)

Fionnuala Thanks, Reem. Hope you're well.


ReemK10 (Paper Pills) Good thanks. I miss the good old days celebrating birthdays. You take good care of yourself!


message 42: by Dusan (new)

Dusan Happy birthday, fellow Leo! ❤


message 43: by Fionnuala (new)

Fionnuala Thanks, Dusan.



message 44: by Fionnuala (new)

Fionnuala ReemK10 (Paper Pills) wrote: "Good thanks. I miss the good old days celebrating birthdays. You take good care of yourself!"

You always posted the best bouquets, Reem.


message 45: by Jan-Maat (new)

Jan-Maat belated birthday greetings, you share your birthday with my own mother and napoleon I (no relation)and no doubt millions and millions of others


message 46: by Fionnuala (new)

Fionnuala Thanks, Jan-Maat.


message 47: by Agnieszka (new)

Agnieszka I'm a bit late to the party, Fio, but I guess it's never late to pass on birthday greetings :) Luckily I'm just in time to see you've started another literary journey with the new to me author. Will try to catch up with your reviews on Bowen.


message 48: by Fionnuala (new)

Fionnuala Thanks, Agna. Yes, Elizabeth Bowen is an interesting writer, a little in the style of Henry James. Many of her books are like variations on the theme of HJ's The Awkward Age. Not this one though. This one is a very interesting take on the classic noir.


message 49: by Scarlet (new)

Scarlet Oerfect dialogue with a sensitive reader Excellent way of Reader in fabula


message 50: by Jeanne (new)

Jeanne What a lovely description! Thank you!


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