The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories … a review

This is a book of fairytales, yes, the real kind! I picked it up at the book fair this year judging by it’s beautiful hardback cover. Yes, I am guilty! Anyway, apparently the author Susanna Clarke is quite famous from having written another series of such tales, but I must confess I had never heard of her. So the book has short stories set in strange and mysterious villages, where women weave magic or are woven into it, from time to time. As another reviewer on Goodreads puts it better “She is so good at making a whole world out of hints and references. Notice that she never has to get out of character and explain anything to the reader, she is always able to make the dialogue and the situations do the work for her, letting the action of her scenes reveal everything. This not only creates a strong, confident authorial voice, it also means that she is never obliged to break her pacing to ‘catch us up’, and so the thick, vibrant tone of her stories is never interrupted or betrayed.”

The scenes are usually commonplace and ordinary, but magic, like we all know, lurks behind every other corner. My personal opinion is – read the book if you are fond of fantasy. The style of writing is a bit strange. Not to say that it isn’t good, it is just a little unusual. The plot travels sloooowwwly, and then something quite exciting happens and the pattern is the same for all the stories and that was the thing that kept me going. But the illustrations are beautiful, so beautiful!


Teaser Tuesday (June 24)

My teaser:


“I was told once by some country people that a magician should never tell his dreams because the telling will make them come true. But I say that is great nonsense.

From (Bloomsbury USA 2006) of The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


Happy Birthday, Haruki Murakami!

A post from last year…

Undoubtedly one of my favourite authors, he makes me wish I could read Japanese. He is a true God of magic realism, my favourite genre of writing. People like Marquez are on my list too, but I do believe that it is much harder to be this imaginative in today’s world, monotonous and black-and-white.

Murakami began writing fiction when he was 29. “Before that”, he said, “I didn’t write anything. I was just one of those ordinary people. I was running a jazz club, and I didn’t create anything at all.” Can you imagine, waking up one day, and producing masterpieces? His tales look at such minor nuances of human nature, the complexities of love, the surrealism of existence…

This picture, though it trivializes his work to a great degree, always brings a smile to my face; it is so representative of his work! I love how he deals with everyday object and turns them into things with life, much like how I think.



My recommendations would include Sputnik Sweetheart (my favourite), Kafka on the Shore, and After Dark. Of course, 1Q84 has been on everyone’s radar for a while and is a good read as well. If you are not the voracious I-can’t-fall-asleep-without-reading kind of person, then try The Elephant Vanishes, it too has all the elements of his longer novels.

Live a long life. And keep writing!

A Gift of Snow

First snow is always special. Technically, this wasn’t my first snow, it did snow a couple of times last month. But that was in the night and only for about 15 minutes.

There’s something magical about seeing it in the day, it’s brilliant and white and does gorgeous things to the landscape.




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My poet friend, said

Spiders or locusts or unknown beasts,
these frozen tears from the sky come down with a million names,
scattered wisps of winter rain,
in a quiet part of town,
where one hand reaches out,
for a gift of snow.

He writes beautifully here.

Were you old enough, my foreign friends, to remember your first snow?

Happy Birthday, L. Frank Baum!

That magical tale about Dorothy, her shoes, the land of Oz.
The witches too! I really really want to see the musical sometime, M says it’s reputed to be brilliant.
I read this novel when I was but a wide eyed child. And I have always loved witches since! I know, not a very childlike thing, but then, I was never a ‘regular’ predictable child.
We digress… a beautiful tale that I feel should be read out to children between the age of 7 and 10.

What do you think? Do you recommend any of his other books?

L. Frank Baum and characters in The Fairylogue and Radio-Plays (1908) ~ from Wikimedia