Sunday, February 27, 2011

Persephone Reading Weekend

I hope everyone that is participating in the Persephone Reading Weekend has been spending some quality time with a dove-grey volume, or two, over the last couple days. I've had far less time to read this weekend than I would have liked but I did manage today to read a fair bit of my chosen Persephone, Every Eye by Isobel English. This is the one I received for last year's Persephone Secret Santa. Many thanks again to Teresa for choosing this one for me. Persephone Books really are such a delight to receive.

Persephone Book
Persephone Book No. 18, Every Eye by Isobel English

From the Persephone Books website:
This 1956 novel is about a girl growing up to what could have been unhappiness but for her marriage to a carefree young(er) man. As she travels south by train to Ibiza she surveys her past life and unravels a mystery. Hence The Tablet's comment: 'This novel is a marvellous discovery. You will want to reread it immediately in the light of its astonishing final paragraph.' Muriel Spark wrote: 'The late Isobel English was an exceptionally talented young novelist of the mid-1950s. Every Eye is one of her most successful and sensitively written books, a romantic yet unsentimental story of a young woman's intricate relationships of family and love, intensely evocative of the period, remarkable in its observations of place and character.' And Anita Brookner called Every Eye 'a lucidly written account of various kinds of confusion and a valuable lesson in where to look for freedom.'

To be honest, I'm not exactly sure what I think of it yet but I have about 30 pages left to go and I can't wait to get to the "astonishing final paragraph" mentioned above! I'll be picking it up again as soon as I get off the computer and although time keeps getting away from me, I hope to have a review up tomorrow, or failing that, within the next couple days.

Big thanks to Claire and Verity for hosting this and past Persephone events, and for encouraging me to finally read my first Persephone which I did last year. And for reminding me that I really need to read Persephones more often! Although I now have 8 Persephone books gracing my shelves, most acquired in the last months of 2010, this is only the second Persephone that I've read. The first was Little Boy Lost by Marghanita Laski, which was fabulous! My review of Little Boy Lost.

I have a feeling my Persephone wishlist will get longer after reading the posts from this weekend, and that my little collection of grey spines will continue to grow before long!


  1. I was contemplating reading this title but chose Minnie's Room instead. Looking forward to your post about the book!

  2. I have a feeling my Persephone wishlist will get longer after reading the posts from this weekend, and that my little collection of grey spines will continue to grow before long!

    +10,000. The Persephone list is book crack for anyone interested in women writers or unfairly neglected writing from between the Wars. I've read about a quarter of the Persephone list, and while I've (naturally) liked some more than others, there's been no outright rubbish.

  3. Beautiful photograph, Nat! Lovely to see a post from you too. Every Eye is curious but once it is over it had me looking at it entirely differently... Looking forward to discovering what you end up thinking.

  4. Oh, I'm glad that I hadn't read that before (about the astonishing final paragraph); I hate knowing that kind of thing is coming because I can't stop second-guessing (third- and fourth- and tenth-guessing too) what might be revealed or what might happen. Then again, at least you knew that you might want to re-read; I was surprised by that!

  5. I really must read something by Persephone one of these days!

  6. I hope you enjoyed this one. I found it beautifully written.


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