I deliberately kept this cover image rather big as I thought it was rather nice. I am a sucker for good covers anyway.
Set in the 1800s in the elegantly genteel countryside of Norwich, we have a fair share of eccentric characters as well. Dr. Alexander French on home leave waiting a further assignment back to India which he loves is still in love with Ann, now a widow. We have Blackow Hall with an unusual mistress - the red haired, flamboyantly dressed Clodie M'Cool and her niece the luscious Julia who has sent tongues wagging in this conservative neighbourhood. There is eight year old Cassandra seemingly unloved by her mother and with no one to take care of her running wild in the countryside. She is someone whom Dr Alexander takes a strong liking to. He is also unfortunately attracted to her mother like half a dozen males in the vicinity.
The community is also getting ready for Napoleon's invasion (very ineptly), there are kidnappings, chases and a romantic love story which has a lovely ending.! This was the third book of a trilogy in which I've only read this one. It did not matter to me as a stand alone book as I liked it anyway.
These are only what can be described as gentle reads. It takes me anyway to a place which is quite serene and where the pace of life is slower. Life seems to be in the here and now and immediate needs and gratification seems what we look for. These books go at a much gentler pace and I do enjoy the contrasts.
I seem to be getting the older reads from Open Library (and a gorgeous selection as well) whereas the newer ones are coming from Netgalley. I like the mix of genres as it is keeping me well balanced!
On a non book note we celebrated Poson Poya day (full moon day) yesterday. It celebrates the arrival of Buddhism in this country in the third century B.C. Apart from religious observances a nice feature is that free food known as "dansalas" is offered to anyone walking or travelling the roads around Sri Lanka. Yesterday returning from an out of Colombo trip, I had ice cream cones twice, boiled chick peas with chilli and salt, rice and curry parcels given to take home and manioc tubers boiled with a sambal!!!! Years ago it used to be only rice and curry. Now people have got innovative and we have noodles to paratha to watermelon slices to fruit juices and coffee being offered to people.