Consider the Lily by Elizabeth Buchan was published in 1993.
The story begins in 1929 when cousins Matty and Daisy attend a wedding. They’ve been brought up together since Matty’s parents died. Daisy’s family is upper class but has fallen on hard times, like many, but Matty inherited a lot of money from her parents which has been quite handy for Daisy’s mother as Matty contributed to the family coffers, but Matty was never given any love or even appreciation.
Both cousins have fallen for the brother of the bride, but it’s the vibrant and vivacious Daisy that Kit is in love with. Kit is the only son, his father Sir Rupert is suffering from his experiences in World War 1 and the estate has fallen into disrepair and needs a large injection of money. When Kit is suffering from a hangover and in despair at his situation he makes a decision which pleases his father but makes everyone else unhappy. It transpires that Sir Robert and his family have experienced a lot of trauma over the years.
This was a really good read, it’s 469 pages long but it didn’t seem like that, I suppose because I was engrossed in it. There’s also quite a lot about the planning and planting of a garden in the book, and horticulture in general, but it’s done in a subtle way I think and won’t be intrusive to people who aren’t so interested in plants.
Elizabeth Buchan is married to the grandson of the author John Buchan. The only other book that I’ve read by her is Revenge of the Middle Aged Woman which I believe was dramatised for TV, but looking back at my review of it it seems that I wasn’t as impressed with that one.
Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman by Elizabeth Buchan was published in 2002 and I suppose it’s what is generally known as chick-lit, not my usual fare, but I just couldn’t resist buying it because of the title. I had imagined that the revenge would take the shape of cutting up an erring husband’s clothes, filling his car with manure or delivering his precious vintage wine collection to the doorsteps of everyone in the village, or some such thing, but no such luck.
This book was a good idea which ended up being too polite for words and missed out on such a lot of possibilities.
In fact I read on thinking that surely the wife would get her revenge eventually but she never did really. She almost got there but every time she was consumed with rage at Minty, her one time friend and assistant who had nicked her husband, job and home, she ended up calming down and seeing things from Minty’s perspective. So, no fun at all.
Rose had been married to Nathan for over 25 years and they had two grown up children. Nathan is needy and self-obsessed, Rose doesn’t tell him how wonderful he is often enough. Minty who is more than 20 years younger than Rose and wears teeny skirts with minuscule tops and what I call f**k me shoes wants what her boss Rose has and so just walks all over her.
Before the book begins there is printed on one page: Revenge is living well, apparently it’s an old Spanish proverb. Personally I would have dug out a nail gun and nailed Nathan, the husband, to the floorboards, but that’s just me!
We were walking down that steep hill which leads to Linlithgow Palace, after enjoying another visit there, this time accompanied by Peggy from PA when I spotted a sign in the doorway of one of the shops.
Don’t look now I said to Jack but that sign says BOOK SALE!
We tried to get past it. Honestly, especially as Peggy has bought so many books over the past three weeks she has been staying with us that she will have to pack them up in a couple of boxes and send them home to the US the long way over the pond.
Anyway, we got dragged through that doorway just by the thought that there might be some books in there which we’ve been wanting for years and as you can see from the photo above I did find more than a couple which I couldn’t bypass. The sale was something to do with World Book night.
1. The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O’Farrell
2. The Perfect Murder by Peter James
3. Picadilly Jim by P.G. Wodehouse
4. A Desert in Bohemia by Jill Paton Walsh
5. No Fond Return of Love by Barbara Pym
6. Revenge of the Middle Aged Woman by Elizabeth Buchan
7. Garden Herbs – The Garden Handbooks
I read the Barbara Pym book yonks ago and gave my copy away but I feel it’s time for a re-read. The only book by Jill Paton Walsh which I’ve previously read was the one which was begun by Dorothy Sayers and Walsh finished it off. I couldn’t resist the Elizabeth Buchan book, just because of the title. Wodehouse just hits the spot at times when you can’t face reading anything too taxing on the brain. The Maggie O’Farrell book was recommended by Peggy. I haven’t read anything by Peter James before so I thought I’d give him a go, and lastly I bought the Garden Herbs book as it’s so comprehensive – in fact if I ever fancy becoming a white witch this one will be my bible. I have a feeling that Jack might think I already am a white witch, but that’s husbands for you!
We had already promised to drive my brother to the airport on Saturday before we realised that it was also the library book sale day, so we had to dash around the books in about 10 minutes flat. I didn’t even get a glimpse of the non-fiction, the crowd was still too dense by the time we had to leave. But it was worthwhile I think.
Consider the Lily by Elizabeth Buchan
The Sugar Camp Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini
The Unexpected Guest by Agatha Christie
On Green Dolphin Street by Sebastian Faulks
Diary of an Ordinary Woman by Margaret Forster
The Pure in Heart by Susan Hill
A Step in the Dark by Judith Lennox
Gosh, now that I look at the list I think I must have just got about half-way around the alphabet!
I admit that I chose The Sugar Camp Quilt because of the cover and the word ‘quilt’.
The Unexpected Guest is actually an adaptation of a Christie play and it was adapted by Charles Osborne.
I bought a Judith Lennox book at the last library sale but haven’t read it yet, I have high hopes of getting around to it soon. I’ve just realised that I don’t have the new one in the photo, it has skipped off somewhere!
Has anyone read any of these ones?