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Donna Fletcher Crow

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Donna Fletcher Crow (US) is the author of forty-some books, mostly novels dealing with the history of British Christianity. She is the author of The Monastery Murders series; The Lord Danvers Victorian True-Crime series; The Elizabeth & Richard literary mysteries, GLASTONBURY,A Novel of the Holy Grail and more. www.donnafletchercrow.com

Fay Sampson

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Fay Sampson (UK) is a writer of adult and children's fiction and non-fiction, including A MALIGNANT HOUSE, #2 in the Susie Fewings series, a British Crime Club Pick. http://www.faysampson.co.uk

On the Road, Reading and Listening

By Donna Fletcher Crow ~ October 2, 2014

Thursday, September 25, Ogden, Utah

Stan and I are Just starting out on a 6,000 mile road trip. This should be a fun adventure. We will attend the Jane Austen Society ofNorth America AGM in Montreal, research my next Elizabeth and Richard book which is to be set in New England, visit family, and meet up with some Sisters in Crime in New York.

Along the way we plan to listen to about a dozen audio books.  Today's listening: M.
C. Beaton's DEATH OF A GOSSIP. I vaguely remember seeing it on tv long ago
and probably read it about that long ago, but it's still a great listen.
I'm a devout Hamish Macbeth fan and this one has a whole cast of great
characters--besides all we're learning about the art of fly fishing.

More listening tomorrow. I'll be reporting.

Friday, September 26, North Platte, NE
Stan grew up here, but no close family here now, so we're in a Comfort Inn which,
uncharacteristically, has no refrigerator in the room. (An inconvenience, since we
always travel with food.

Our listening today was uncharacteristic, too. Amid all the mysteries I
chose, I also picked out one l literary novel, Ian McEwan's ON CHESIL
BEACH. It's an amazing exploration of the psyche of two young people
Florence and Edward in 1962--on the cusp of the sexual revolution. The
theme is the importance of communication and what can happen when fears
are unspoken. Of course it was beautifully written, but, oh, my, novels with unsatisfatory endings do leave me depressed. I would say that's why I prefer mysteries--and one normally does get resolution in mysteries-- but I also finished reading Aline Templeton's LAMB TO THE SLAUGHTER today and I'll have to say the ending was less than satisfactory in that, too. All that and barren brown scenery all day, too. On the plus side for both books, though, were the settings which are very important to me: Templeton's in the Gallowy area of Scotland around Newton Stewart--an area of Scotland not done often; and McEwan's setting is mostly lovely Oxford. I'm wondering if it's reading too much into it to suggest that the rock-covered Chesil Beach is a symbol for their rocky relationship? Hoping for a more up-beat report tomorrow. Sunday, September 29, Dubuque, Iowa A lovely Sunday. Worshipped at the Anglican Cathedral, then took a cruise on a Mississippi riverboat. Perfect, sunny weather. Monday, September 29, Michael and All Angels
 We drove around and noticed several sites dedicated to St. Michael--all on
 hilltops, of course. My mother enjoyed growing Michaelmas
Daisies, but I didn't understand the reference as a child. 
In charming Galena, Iowa we visited the home of Ulysses S. Grant:


Tuesday, September 30, Muskegon, Michigan
Today we crossed Lake Michigan from Milwaukee to Muskegon via ferry.
Although we have had perfect weather up to this point, today the waves
were 5 to 7 eet high--so no listening to audio books accomplished and very
little reading.

Yesterday, however, we finished listening to Louise Penny's A FATAL GRACE.
Although I had read it years ago I had forgotten much of it and I was so
struck this time by her theme of hope and her repeated images of light.
Besides Penny's wonderful writing, excellent characters and great
settings, I wonder if a great deal of her much-deserved popularity isn't
due to her ultimately optimistic outlook. In an age where so much writing
is so dark Penny sees the light.

Of course, mystery writers do have to see the dark, too. An example Sunday
afternoon--we took a riverboat cruise on the Mississippi River. I stood
ondeck in the stern quite mesmerized by the power of the paddlewheel
churning the water and driving us forward. I turned to my husband, "If I
were setting a book here, I know how I'd commit murder." He jumped back
from the rail.


Wednesday, October 1, Holland Michigan


UNRULY PASSIONS Well, yes Stan and I are having a great time,(whirlpool pictured
 above) but the UNRULY PASSIONS I refer to is Kate Charles' 1999 psychological thriller. I
read it many years ago and was reminded of it again by the friend who
first introduced me to Charles' writing. This book really is riviting
reading with the marriages of two couples you care deeply about at stake,
a very special little girl at risk, and a rich, gorgeous woman a stalker. 
Charles brings this multitude of disparate threads to a very satisfying
conclusion. And as always, Charles gets her ecclesiastical details spot-on
right. Mike Ornduff once very kindly charactrized one of my clerical
mysteries as "edgy Barbara Pym" (one of my all-time favorite reviews) but
in UNRULY PASSIONS Kate Charles is an edgy Barbara Pym with bells on.

Revisiting old favorits can really pay off. I highly recommend it if
you've hit a string of less-than-satisfactory new reads.

Donna Fletcher Crow (US) is the author of forty-some books, mostly novels dealing with the history of British Christianity. She is the author of The Monastery Murders series; The Lord Danvers Victorian True-Crime series; The Elizabeth & Richard literary mysteries, GLASTONBURY,A Novel of the Holy Grail and more. www.donnafletchercrow.com

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