The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende

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This story follows several generations of an unusual family: Rosa, the girl with green hair who was too beautiful to live long, Clara, her precocious younger sister, who moves objects with her mind and stops speaking for nine years, Esteban, the choleric self-made man who loved both sisters, whose dark character brings ruin to his family. This saga covers love and hatred, indifference and revenge. The family is divided by politics. The women (grandmothers, mothers and daughters) are all full of an eccentric brand of common sense and are never thrown by drama. Nothing is ever as bad as it seems.

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Love in a Cold Climate

 

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Fanny, our main character, is just a device to view the story.

The book focuses on Lady Montedore and her daughter Polly. Polly is the still-waters-run-deep type. Silent about her dreams, grumpily submitting to her mother’s plotting.

Lady M is social shark, always moving to keep alive. Reading gossip, throwing parties, name-dropping.

Polly finally rocks the boat. How?

Though Fanny is boring, her family is hilarious. Her one uncle puts names of people he wants to die in drawers, hoping to kill them telepathically. Her other uncle keeps trying oddball health cures. Her 2 cousins are realistic teenage specimens, with inside jokes galore.

Murder Must Advertise by Dorothy Sayers

Dorothy Sayers - Murder Must AdvertiseI liked it better than the other Dorothy Sayers.

Lord Peter goes undercover at an advertising agency to investigate a suspicious death. He finds he has a knack for copywriting, as well as solving mysteries. My favourite scenes are the ones devoted to the ad agency, its office workers and their work. It’s like Mad Men but more innocent. The murder investigation becomes a hunt for drug dealers. Fun parts: Lord Peter has to bluff his way out when his undercover and real lives clash. Dumb parts: Lord Peter is too perfect: a friendly, flawless Sherlock Holmes. And there’s no Bunter.

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