This week I attended the Arizona Library Association conference just outside of the Phoenix area, at a conference center out in the desert. As soon as I drove out of the city and entered the tangle of brush, cacti and jagged mountains I felt my soul exhale. It felt so good to be out of the concrete, out of the strip malls, out of the endless traffic. It reminded me that I really need to journey away from the city more often, into the beautiful places in Arizona that are so refreshing and stimulating to the brain and the body. I can’t have roses like Elizabeth in her German garden, but saguaros, prickly pear cacti and mesquite trees will do just fine.
Books finished this week:
One Fine Day by Mollie Panter-Downes – This painterly, beautiful novel documents the life of one family on one summer’s day in 1946. Laura Marshall, her husband Stephen and daughter Victoria are uncomfortably adjusting to life after the war. Their servants are gone, rationing is a challenge, and their family dynamics are still unsettled since Stephen’s return. Starting at breakfast and going through to evening, we mostly follow Laura as she engages in her domestic chores and ruminates about their changed lives. It is an absorbing portrait of the ways in which English society shifted after the devastation of WWII. Panter-Downes writes so well about human nature and I love her vivid descriptions of people, buildings and the landscape. The world she creates is so real and so fascinating. I just adore her writing and wish that her other novels were as available as this one. It looks like I’m going to have to submit a few interlibrary loan requests.
Hope your Sunday is wonderful!