Saturday, April 19, 2008

A Literary Endorsement

I just finished the 5th book in a series written by Jacqueline Winspear. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a mystery or period pieces. It is set in the post WWI - pre WWII era and concerns a young woman who served in the first World War as a nurse. She is a bit clairvoyant, an ability inherited from a gypsy grandmother, and a lot empathic and opens her own private investigation business in London, using her intelligence and her knowledge of human behavior to solve her cases.

My first exposure to the Maisie Dobbs series was purely by accident. I happened across a discounted audio version of the 3rd novel Pardonable Lies and it did not take me long to decide I needed to find the other volumes in the series.

It's hard to say just what it is I love about these novels. The character of Maisie Dobbs, a young woman who lost her true love to the war and who still suffers from what today we would call post-traumatic stress disorder, is hard not to like. She has broken through the class barriers, rising from lowly housemaid to an independent businesswoman. Her assistant is a young man she nursed on a battlefield in France. Her former employers are her benefactors.

I guess the main attraction is how the author weaves a mood. You lose yourself in 1930s London and can feel the sorrow of the people who have lost their brothers, husbands and sons in the war and how that continues to affect their lives. And you are aware that the next war is looming just over the horizon. Jacqueline Winspear is not just an author, she paints very realistic scenery that stays with you for a little while after you read the last page.

Just a short deviation from our standard programming.


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