Happy Valentine’s Day!
February 14, 2012 26 Comments
Eek, I don’t do Valentine’s day and then I’m writing this post about it. I must be mad. I see Valentine’s Day as a commercial success and nothing else. But there are romantic people about who do appreciate the special day and use it to spend some quality time with their loved one. And that is really nice!
Last time I celebrated Valentine’s Day, which may also have been the first time, my (now) husband and I, having only got together a few weeks beforehand, went to a (what seemed) nice pub in a small town near Brighton (England) for our dinner. How romantic can you get? How romantic it wasn’t! The food (spaghetti) was nothing special and there was no romantic atmosphere at all. There were some (heavily dressed up) people trying to make the best of it, but I think the romance was within our hearts only!
Random House sent me this link to a free excerpt of The Paris Wife by Paula McLain and that seemed just the thing for Valentine’s Day!
I know lots of people have read this book. I haven’t and I was curious about it, so I read the excerpt and I found it very good. I don’t know if the subject is quite my thing, but the writing is beautiful. The story takes place in the 1920s and to me, that was very convincing. I definitely felt as if I was transported to the 1920s.
About the story: it seems to be a memoir (fictional) of a wife or lover (given the title I guess ‘wife’) of Ernest Hemingway. In the Prologue, she is looking back on being in France after the war (WWI), about which Ernest said he died briefly on the battle fields and then came back to life.
The story then starts in 1920 in Chicago, where the protagonist, who is known as “Hash” is at a party with her friend Kate, who also turns out to be a friend of Ernest Hemingway, also present at the party. Hash and Ernest dance and kiss and, as they are staying as guests in the same house, meet again over breakfast.
When she leaves after another week in Chicago, Ernest insists on dropping her off at the train station and there is the understanding that they love each other.
I found it a really romantic story. You can read it here. The book is ideal when you’re in the mood for a quiet, beautiful book.
[On the same website, I also found an excerpt of The Winter Palace by Eva Stachniak. Maybe of interest to some!]
I am reading An Equal Music by Vikram Seth, which is also a story of love, but then of lost love. The protagonist Michael is an English violinist who used to live in Vienna where he had a lover, Julia, also a violinist. But troubles with his music teacher made him leave Vienna and Julia, and she never understood what happened.
Ten years later, Michael tries to find back Julia, but she doesn’t want to be found.
He sounds rather obsessed with her, which isn’t very handy after ten years! He doesn’t have much of a life, the only thing he does really is play in a quartet, nothing much else.
This is also a quiet and beautiful read and I’m curious to know what will happen next. It is a re-read but I don’t remember much about the book after 7 years. So, a good read for Valentine’s Day.
Are you doing anything on Valentine’s Day?
And do you have any fitting book suggestions?