Beach Reading Reviews 2012 Part 1

by A Latter-day Bluestocking

A short time ago I posted my list for beach reading.  I have been plowing right along and thought I would share my opinions.

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day  by Winifred Watson

An absolutely joyous read.  So pleasurable and full of verve and good humor; fun from cover to cover.  It depicts a day in Miss Guinevere Pettigrew’s life; she is desperately in need of a job and presents herself for a position as governess to a glamorous young woman, Delysia Lafosse.  And then everything goes awry in the most charming and vibrant way.  1930s London nightclubs and dangerous men abound.  It is a wonderfully charming Cinderella story with hilarity at every turn.

Miss Timmins School for Girls by Nayana Currimbhoy

A suspenseful love story and murder mystery.  It is beautifully told and takes place at a girls school in India founded in the British mode.  But it’s the 70s and there is sex, drugs, and rock and roll.  It is a coming-of-age tale dramatically written and explores adolescent angst and uncertainty, the still prevalent antagonism of colonialism, and the quest for one’s place in the world.  It is moody, the monsoon rains adding to the oppressiveness.  I could not put it down.

Summer by Edith Wharton

A coming-of-age story told in the indomitable Wharton way depicting the sexual awakening of Charity Royall.  The young girl experiences her first romance and quickly learns that love can be sweet, passionate, and heartrendingly painful.  The difference is she is wide-eyed about it.  When published in 1917 it was shocking in its depiction of female sexuality.  A not-to-be-missed classic and as significant today as it was then.

Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

Terrible!!  Mildly titillating and abhorrently annoying.  The writing is cheap.  Characterization is shallow, plot is deficient. This book reinforces all the most horrible stereotypes of why women fall for bad men. Mindless schlock for the beach or a long plane ride; not to be taken seriously at all. Fan-fiction gone horribly wrong!!!