Two books were in my postbox yesterday. I’m very lucky because after deciding not to buy any more books until I’ve read 6 of my unread books these two are gifts, so I don’t have to count them, and I’m very grateful for them too.
The first is Out of Africa by Karen Blixen, which I won from Gaskella’s blog. The back cover says that it is ‘the story of a remarkable and unconventional woman, and of a way of life that has vanished for ever.’ Karen arrived in Kenya in 1914 to manage a coffee plantation and spent the happiest years of her life on the farm. I love the cover of this book.
The other is Gillespie and I by Jane Harris, an uncorrected proof, which I won on LibraryThing’s Early Reviewers Programme. This is a big book. It sounded so good from the publishers’ information – I just hope it lives up to my expectations.
As she sits in her Bloomsbury home, with her two birds for company, elderly Harriet Baxter sets out to relate the story of her acquaintance, nearly four decades previously, with Ned Gillespie, a talented artist who never achieved the fame she maintains he deserved. Back in 1888, the young, art-loving, Harriet arrives in Glasgow at the time of the International Exhibition. After a chance encounter she befriends the Gillespie family and soon becomes a fixture in all of their lives. But when tragedy strikes – leading to a notorious criminal trial – the promise and certainties of this world all too rapidly disorientate into mystery and deception. Featuring a memorable cast of characters, infused with atmosphere and period detail, and shot through with wicked humour, Gillespie and I is a tour de force from one of the emerging names of British fiction.
I love the cover of this one too.
Now I just need a few more hours in the day – I want to start reading these straight away. Actually I couldn’t resist and I have read the opening pages! They’re both looking good, but I have The Weather in the Streets by Rosamond Lehmann to read first.