Monday, January 24, 2011


If you have come for a long stay, you must arrive at Grange House by water. The House sits at the farthest edge of the harbor from Middle Haven, the last habitation before the harbor gives way to the open sea, and though a road runs between town and Grange House, it is narrow and rocky--entirely unsuitable for the conveyance of large families with luggage. Rather, you must take the night steamer from Boston, which deposits you at the Grange House pier before teatime.

I like to stand in the prow of that boat, steaming farther and farther north and east, and be the first to feel the air sharpen and cool, leaving the damp heat of Boston, the shipyards of Portsmouth, and voyaging into the clear silence born in the chill of Maine...
first paragraphs

And, (a beautiful quote)

There is a quiet to the evenings that settles softly down now; no outside noises penetrate in summer's fashion when windows are thrown wide to catch the night seiners out in the harbor, someone's laugh entering in on the light salt breeze. Now all laughter is our own, muted by the heavy curtains and cast into our group as if Sound herself grew shy.
Grange House
Sarah Blake

This Victorian novel was published 10 years prior to The Postmistress. Lovely writing. A compelling storyline.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


Darkness. Darkness for a long time. Open my eyes and close, open and close. The same. Darkness inside, darkness outside.

I'd been dreaming. Tossed around in a black dark sea. Staked out on a mountain in the night. An animal I couldn't see sniffed and snuffled around me. I felt a wet nose on my skin. When you know you're dreaming you wake up. Sometimes you wake into another dream. But when you wake and noting changes, that must be reality.
Land of the Living
Nicci French

From the website:
Abbie Devereaux wakes in the dark, hooded and bound...

She doesn't know where she is nor who it is feeding her, talking to her - threatening to kill her. Yet Abbie has courage and, above all, hope. She escapes her captor and runs back into the light. But the real world, the safe one, isn't as she remembers it. There are days missing before she disappeared - days when she quit her job and left her boyfriend, did things she can't explain to the police, her friends or even herself. Why won't anyone take her story seriously? Because if Abbie can't convince anybody that it really happened, then maybe he will come for her again. And she will wake in the dark, hooded and bound...

I've read this before. It was published in 2003, so that's when I probably read it. It's a compelling read and I'm enjoying it again. Will follow-up this one with her their newer books. Yep, I just discovered on their website that Nicci French = a married couple: Nicci Gerrard and Sean French. Didn't know that before.