TBR Lucky Dip: January

By oldenglishrose - Last updated: Tuesday, January 11, 2011 - Save & Share - 6 Comments

As I explained in my post about reading plans for the new year, each month I’m going to be using a random number generator to select a book from my TBR pile for me to read, to help me read more widely from my shelves.

This month, the deities of www.random.org have ordained that I should read book number 222. According to my TBR list this means that I am reading…

Lady’s Maid by Margaret Forster.

When she arrived in London in 1844 — young and tremulous but full of sturdy Northern good sense and awakening sophistication — Lily Wilson became more than a lady’s maid to the fragile, housebound Elizabeth Barrett.  Her mistress’s gaiety and sharp intelligence, the power of her poetry, and her deep emotional need drew “Wilson” into a strange intimacy that would last sixteen years.

It was Wilson who smuggled Miss Barrett out of the gloomy Wimpole Street house, witnessed her secret wedding to Robert Browning in an empty church, and fled with them to threadbare lodgings and the heat, light and colours of Italy.  As housekeeper, nursemaid, companion and confidante, she was with Elizabeth in every crisis — birth, bereavement, travel, literary triumph.  As her devotion turned almost to obsession, Wilson forgot her own fleeting loneliness and the barrier between mistress and maid turned to gossamer.  And when Wilson’s own affairs took a dramatic turn, she came to expect the loyalty from Elizabeth that she herself had always given.

Artfully weaving fact and fiction, Margaret Forster has uncannily captured the tone and passion of a classic Victorian novel — the intricate nuances of relationship, the social limitations of servitude and womanhood, and the poignant bloom of affections injured and reborn.

This book came to me from BookMooch not too long ago, and it sounds as though I should really enjoy it.  Good choice, book selection gods!  Has anyone else read this yet?

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6 Responses to “TBR Lucky Dip: January”

Comment from FleurFisher
Time January 11, 2011 at 10:32 pm

The randon number generator has done well for you – it’s a great book!

Comment from Anbolyn
Time January 12, 2011 at 1:20 am

It looks like you got a great book for your first lucky dip!

Comment from Annie
Time January 12, 2011 at 8:47 am

I’ve just finished Forster’s ‘Keeping the World Away’ and really enjoyed it, as is usually the case with her books. This is one I have yet to read, so I’m going to be very interested in how you get on.

Comment from oldenglishrose
Time January 12, 2011 at 10:14 am

I’m glad you think so; I’m certainly enjoying it so far. Wilson is quite a quiet character, but an interesting one nonetheless.

Comment from oldenglishrose
Time January 12, 2011 at 10:15 am

I think so too. Although all the books on my list are ones I’m looking forward to reading, so I think I’d have been pleased whatever it picked (although probably a little less happy had it come up with ‘Ulysses’).

Comment from oldenglishrose
Time January 12, 2011 at 10:17 am

Well, so far so good. It’s an absorbing story and it’s making me want to revisit Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s and Robert Browning’s poetry. I might have to select one of them for my poetry read in February.

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