Tuesday, May 16, 2017
For Your Reading Pleasure 5/16/17
Today I'm sharing my most recent DE Stevenson reading: The English Air. I'd become a little bit discouraged because my least favorite Stevenson books were ones that I had read most recently (mostly in 2016). In case it interests you, I've read (because I keep a list or I'd forget) 27 of her books, and my least favorite have been Rochester's Wife, The Baker's Daughter, and Crooked Adam. Some of my favorites have been the Miss Buncle books; The Young Clementina; Katherine Wentworth; Celia's House; Mrs. Tim Gets a Job (3rd of 4 Mrs. Tim books); and Sarah's Cottage (or perhaps Sarah Morris Remembers).
So I was very pleased to discover that The English Air was a book that held my interest from the beginning. It takes place from about March 1938 through early 1940 in England and Germany. It is lighthearted, then sobering, but not too sobering. The story is wonderful, and Stevenson's superb writing shines in this book.
A young (22?) indoctrinated Nazi German is sent to England by his Nazi father to learn more about how the English feel about Germany. He does this under the guise of visiting the long-ignored family of his English mother, who died when he was fairly young (6 or 7?). Sorry, I'd have to find the exact age references if any, but these are close enough. Pleasant times ensue, and he falls deeply in love with the daughter Wynne, whose mother, Sophie, was a cousin to Franz's mother.
Franz is elated when Chamberlain signs the pact in September 1938. He is certain everything will be alright now, and that he'll be able to marry Wynne and take her back to Germany. But the head of the family, Dane, makes Franz wait. And in the meantime, Hitler begins to move. Franz returns to Germany. Is all lost?
I didn't provide an Amazon link because the book is pricey, but some copies are in the $35 range. Well, I'll put a link in My Amazon Picks at the bottom of this post. I suggest you try your local library system if you're interested. The Amazon reviews were interesting. One or two didn't like the book precisely because it was about the war, meaning the subject was too serious for a Stevenson book. But there you go: To each his own.
Stevenson's books are often humorous, but not all of them are by any means. She was a very versatile writer. Have you read her books? Any favorites or recommendations that should not be missed? I have referred to her in a post previously, here. Since that post I've read all her books our library has, and a few from our library system (50+ libraries). I guess she's written 50+ books, so I still have much enjoyable reading ahead.
Happy Reading, Friends!