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Group Reads > August 2018 Group Read Wild Strawberries Chapters 8-14

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Christmas Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 1751 comments Mod
So how are you finding this book so far?

Remember no spoilers (or use spoiler tags) We have a spoiler thread for an open discussion of the book!


message 2: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1964 comments Just starting Chapter VIII, and I've decided that the word "delicious" is under-used these days (except in cookbooks), and needs to be brought back. I'll be looking for opportunities.


message 3: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 724 comments Haha, Karlyne! Linda pointed out that it crept into my review of this book. In my defense, I worked for ten years at Bon Appetit magazine where it never went out of style.


message 4: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1964 comments That's a delicious story...


message 5: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1964 comments I got a Bon Apetit subscription one year as a Christmas gift from a friend, and it was so gorgeous it about ruined me for normal cooking, by the way!


message 6: by Linda (new)

Linda Dobinson (baspoet) | 57 comments Abigail wrote: "Haha, Karlyne! Linda pointed out that it crept into my review of this book. In my defense, I worked for ten years at Bon Appetit magazine where it never went out of
style."



I liked seeing it there :) I think previous generations spoke better than we do today.


message 7: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 724 comments Exactly so, Linda! That's why I enjoy reading the fiction of earlier ages and try to write my own fiction in an old-fashioned style.


message 8: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1414 comments Karlyne wrote: "Just starting Chapter VIII, and I've decided that the word "delicious" is under-used these days (except in cookbooks), and needs to be brought back. I'll be looking for opportunities."

Me, too! I find myself using it in reviews, calling characters or situations “delicious” - I wonder if it’s because I’ve become an ardent Thirkellite ?


message 9: by Susan in NC (last edited Aug 17, 2018 08:43AM) (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1414 comments Abigail wrote: "Exactly so, Linda! That's why I enjoy reading the fiction of earlier ages and try to write my own fiction in an old-fashioned style."

Good for you - that’s one version of “I want my country back” I can wholeheartedly endorse! Bring back civil discourse, good punctuation and articulate, adult conversation!


message 10: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1964 comments The Boules are an unwelcome addition to the group (I remember your dislike in your review, Abigail), and although I see, maybe, their relevance I really think Madame Boule should have been nudged into the French Channel - as I'm sure she would have called it.


message 11: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1414 comments Karlyne wrote: "The Boules are an unwelcome addition to the group (I remember your dislike in your review, Abigail), and although I see, maybe, their relevance I really think Madame Boule should have been nudged i..."

Ok, I can’t wait to get to this part now - I vaguely remember the Boules, I guess I didn’t like them either (unlike David, they went away after this book!) ;)


message 12: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1964 comments Susan in NC wrote: "Karlyne wrote: "The Boules are an unwelcome addition to the group (I remember your dislike in your review, Abigail), and although I see, maybe, their relevance I really think Madame Boule should ha..."

I am fine with their going away!


message 13: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1964 comments Here's David in a nutshell: "Boys will be bores. Tell ne all about yourself, Mary. I've had a marvelous time over my novel. A man I know [here he goes on for several sentences more about his plans]..."

He's clever, polite, and enormously self-centered.

I wonder if Mary is noticing the obvious.


message 14: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1964 comments Haha! She is, just a bit, a few pages on! In David's defense, his charm is part of him; he's not putting on an act to attract every female within sight. He just... is naturally charming. The perfect line to describe David comes from the Prince in Into the Woods: "I was raised to be charming, not sincere"!


message 15: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1964 comments ..."One always feels warmer with a shawl on." Oh, Agnes, no wonder everybody loves you!


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 157 comments Hi guys, I am have started reading the introduction to this book. It seems that there is a book before this one? I wonder if I need to return this to the kindle store.


message 17: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1964 comments Andrea (Catsos Person) is a Compulsive eBook Hoarder wrote: "Hi guys, I am have started reading the introduction to this book. It seems that there is a book before this one? I wonder if I need to return this to the kindle store."

I think this is the first one about the Leslies, though. Is that right, Susan in NC?


message 18: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1964 comments I don't have an introduction in my copy, btw
!


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 157 comments Karlyne wrote: "I don't have an introduction in my copy, btw
!"


The intro in the kindle edition that I purchased is written by none other than Alexander McCall-Smith.

The blurb for this book grabbed me, but I don't know anything about this author, so I am reading the intro.


message 20: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1964 comments I think that when we read High Risings, McCall Smith did an intro for it? I wonder if he wrote one for each modern re-issue?


message 21: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1414 comments Karlyne wrote: "Andrea (Catsos Person) is a Compulsive eBook Hoarder wrote: "Hi guys, I am have started reading the introduction to this book. It seems that there is a book before this one? I wonder if I need to r..."

Sorry, at the beach and wi-fi is indifferent...yes, this is the first book about the Leslies. Several of these characters pop up in future books; this website about Thirkell has a nifty chart showing which characters appear in which books. It also has summaries of all of her plots, so beware of spoilers!

http://angelathirkellsociety.org/


message 22: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1414 comments Karlyne wrote: "I don't have an introduction in my copy, btw
!"


I don’t either in this paperback edition: Wild Strawberries by Angela Thirkell


message 23: by Susan in NC (last edited Aug 17, 2018 08:34PM) (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1414 comments Andrea (Catsos Person) is a Compulsive eBook Hoarder wrote: "Hi guys, I am have started reading the introduction to this book. It seems that there is a book before this one? I wonder if I need to return this to the kindle store."

I don’t think you’d have to read High Rising, the first Barsetshire novel, to enjoy this book; there really is no preparation for trying to follow conversations among the Leslies! Particularly Lady Emily...just dive in and let it flow over you! ;)


message 24: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 724 comments Hi, Andrea, it's not a series in the sense of having a lot of ongoing plot lines. Each book is freestanding, though sometimes the same character will pop up in more than one book. They're all set in the same fictional county, which is the only reason some characters recur. I don't think there are any characters in common between the first and second books.


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 157 comments Thank you Susan NC and Abigail!

I’ll keep reading then.


message 26: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1414 comments Enjoy! Abigail is absolutely right - but Thirkell does follow the same characters through WWII and the ensuing peace and Labor government, which I know very little about, but Thirkell was clearly not a fan. (view spoiler)


message 27: by Jackie (new)

Jackie | 404 comments I am enjoying the heck out of this book, that's how, could there be anything more idyllic (and delicious!) than an English Country summer holiday where a dance is planned and you have entertainment like bathing Baby. I am reminded of Call the Midwife, where you don't refer to "the" baby, but only Baby.
in chapter 8 I particularly enjoy how the real work of the committee to plan the concert takes place in secret, while a pretend meeting of "Her Ladyship's Committee" allows Lady Emily to attend and make her suggestions without actually changing anything.


message 28: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1964 comments I think it's very sweet that everyone loves Lady Emily but no one has any illusions about her!


message 29: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1414 comments Karlyne wrote: "I think it's very sweet that everyone loves Lady Emily but no one has any illusions about her!"

Exactly! Every time she appears in a Barsetshire book, I find myself chuckling...Lady Emily never disappoints!


message 30: by Hana (new)

Hana | 1104 comments Mod
Jackie, that bit about the pretend meeting in Chapter 8 was particularly "delicious"!


message 31: by Hana (new)

Hana | 1104 comments Mod
Karlyne wrote: "In David's defense, his charm is part of him; he's not putting on an act to attract every female within sight. He just... is naturally charming...." That's really true and is clearly more than he can handle, hence one of David's funniest lines in Chapter 14 (view spoiler)


message 32: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1964 comments Yes, I'm wondering just how often he's going to be surprised at where all that nonchalant charm lands him!


message 33: by Hana (new)

Hana | 1104 comments Mod
Hopefully a couple of years in (view spoiler)


message 34: by Jackie (last edited Aug 19, 2018 06:43PM) (new)

Jackie | 404 comments I've made it through meeting La Famille Boulle and (so far, anyway) only Madam is really obnoxious. She reminds me very much of how French people were portrayed in The Darling Buds of May series: they obviously aren't as good as English people and yet they insist on acting superior!
I wish for a picture of Jean Claude's outfit (boy scouts?) that so appalled David.
as an aside, did we ever learn the name of the oldest son who was killed in The War?


message 35: by Susan in NC (last edited Aug 19, 2018 07:24PM) (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1414 comments Jackie wrote: "I've made it through meeting La Famille Boulle and (so far, anyway) only Madam is really obnoxious. She reminds me very much of how French people were portrayed in The Darling Buds of May series: t..."

I couldn’t find the name of Martin’s father in the book, but I looked on the Thirkell website and it says Lady Emily’s oldest son, Martin, was killed in WWI.


message 36: by Jackie (new)

Jackie | 404 comments oh, of course, our Martin was named for him.


message 37: by Hana (new)

Hana | 1104 comments Mod
I was wondering the same thing about Martin's father's name. I didn't know if it was a given that Martin would be named for his father, not knowing all of the English traditions. There are other traditions that name a first-born family grandchild for a recently deceased relative (generally a grandparent) or for a spiritual sponsor like a godparent.


message 38: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1964 comments I don't think it's an always thing, since Mr. Leslie's given name was Henry. But it's nice sometimes!


Christmas Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 1751 comments Mod
This book has so many quotable quotes!

The scene (view spoiler)


message 40: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1414 comments I found him such a moving character this time; first time around I was so enthralled with Lady Emily and Agnes’ circular conversations and mothering the whole world and trying to figure out if I was supposed to want to (view spoiler)to really notice John.


message 41: by Hana (new)

Hana | 1104 comments Mod
I agree Carol and Susan. I was very moved by John's--I don't know what to call it? Shyness, insecurity?


Christmas Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 1751 comments Mod
Hana wrote: "I agree Carol and Susan. I was very moved by John's--I don't know what to call it? Shyness, insecurity?"

Feeling his (view spoiler) This reminded me very much of (Georgette Heyer spoiler) (view spoiler)


message 43: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1414 comments Hana, you’re right, I don’t know what to call it either, I think it’s just that John is a more mature, “old soul” person compared to the facile, shallow, more dazzlingly charming David!


message 44: by Hana (new)

Hana | 1104 comments Mod
It's clearly too long since I read Sprig Muslin--time for a reread!


message 45: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1964 comments I have such a hard time with the titles! Now I have to go look on the book cover and remind myself who wore the Sprig Muslin...


message 46: by Hana (new)

Hana | 1104 comments Mod
Well, I'm guessing it wasn't Sir Gareth who wore the sprig muslin ;)


message 47: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1964 comments Haha! Wasn't that False Colours?!


Christmas Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 1751 comments Mod
Hana wrote: "Well, I'm guessing it wasn't Sir Gareth who wore the sprig muslin ;)"

No, I meant (view spoiler)


message 49: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1964 comments I got it, Carol! We were just being, as my grandgirl says, "funny"...


message 50: by Hana (new)

Hana | 1104 comments Mod
Quite so, Karlyne.


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