Sunday, January 11, 2009

Sunday Salon

Can hardly believe that it is Sunday again! Boy did this week fly by. Unfortunately, I did not finish The House at Riverton in time for last Monday's book club but did this morning. Everyone at book club thankfully did not spoil the ending for me, and I was still able to participate. It shocked me that more people did not have a favorable reaction to this read. Here's my take...

Title: The House at Riverton
Author: Kate Morton
Rating: Four 1/2 stars
Number of pages: 471 pages
Finished: 1/11/2009
This story is composed of the reflections of a 99-year old woman who has kept secrets for most of her life. And in order for her to pass peacefully into the greater beyond, she needs to share the truth that she has kept bottled up inside. Grace was a 14-year old impressionable girl when she entered the "great house" to begin her years of servitude and loyalty. She adheres to all of the many traditions that were part and parcel of the time at the beginning of World War I in England. Although there are flashes between today's world and the early part of the 20th Century up until the mid 1920s, we know little of what transpired in the intervening years unless told to us in passing. I agree with my reading group on one point...I wish that the author explored how Grace changed her social station after World War II.
I thought that Kate Morton painted the time, place and atmosphere of both the Riverton House and London perfectly...often times, I felt as though I was with Grace, and sisters Hannah and Emmeline too. The reader knows at the start that the suicide of a famous poet was not a suicide at all, and that the two sister witnesses are linked in some way my prior events to what indeed happened. But there are even more secrets that are revealed along the way to the final ending.
If you have read, The Thirteenth Tale and enjoyed that book, you most certainly with find The House at Riverton equally riveting and a pleasure to read.

Up next, The Good Guy by Dean Koontz, apparently, this was one of Stephen King's favorite reads and thus the impetus of why it was purchased as a holiday gift for me.

Labels: , ,

Friday, January 9, 2009


Work has been very trying this week...that's what comes when you end up outsourcing a service...the transition is brutal. So to try and stay sane (and rather than add to stress by knitting lace when I am preoccupied & prone to big blunders), I have been spinning.

I have been rotating my three spindles with the following:

Black Bunny Fiber's Romney/Border Leicester Top in Muscari on my Schacht hi-low whorl, using top whorl to spin. Fiber was part of the September shipment of Carol's fiber club.

Pigeonroof Studio's Border Leicester Superwash in Harvest on my Annie May low whorl spindle.

And lastly, my new spindle acquisition, a much-needed gift to myself, a Golding Tsunami Cherry .45oz spindle with Black Bunny Fibers' Merino Tencel Roving in Walnut from December's fiber club shipment. If you never have spun on a Golding, go...go now and get yourself one...what a dream to spin on! Already contemplating adding is that good and so well worth the money.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Sunday Salon

Thought that I would kick-off the new year with a post...okay, so don't fall off your seat as you scratch your head in wonderment & ponder the long with this last? No promises except to say that I will do my best to be better in 2009.
For the first Sunday Salon of the new year, I am in the midst of reading a book loaned to me by my friend Jill over at The Magic Lasso entitled "The House of Riverton" by Kate Morton (actually her advance reader's copy). Back in October, I picked up the book & started to read but put it down because I knew within the first couple of pages that it would be an excellent selection for a discussion book for my Womens Reading Group (only female authors are allowed). And lo and behold, it is the first pick for 2009...discussion tomorrow night.
As one turns the pages, the reader is vividly transported back to another time & place...pre-World War I England. It is like falling into an episode of "Upstairs, Downstairs." The narrator is a 90+ old woman, former servant at the House of Riverton, who is reflecting on life...brought on by the request of a documentary producer to tell the story of an event that took place years ago...a mysterious suicide of the gentry's family friend. Or was it a suicide? I'm about half way through the book & thoroughly enjoying the wordplay, the history, & the flashing between time (one of my favorite writing methods to read). I keep contemplating with wonder how society moved away from such strict delineations in social does that happen? Someone finally just gets tired of hearing "but that's the way it has always been done" and becomes a trailblazer.

Should be a lively discussion tomorrow night.

Still knitting up a storm (actually did three test knits last year & would love to continue the tradition in 2009) but most importantly I bit the spinning bug (cycling I already had but fiber this time around).
In a nutshell, I had a mini lesson when we attended the Estes Park Wool Market festival last June from none other than Maggie Casey herself, author of "Start Spinning." I purchased a hi/low whorl from her store's booth, a 1.1 oz Schacht spindle & spun my first fiber from Pigeonroof Studios over the summer & made an unoriginal hat for the daughter of a friend. But I'm finally making some headway because I either practice every day or read something online to further my skills.
Currently I'm coveting some of the unique lightweight spindles that Mary creates over at Butterfly Girl Designs namely her paua shell version & I have my eye on the lamborghini of drop spindles, a Golding. The goal in 2009 is to spin up laceweight yarn to knit up my favorite project, lace patterned shawls.

And last but not least, E becomes a teenager did he become 13 soooo fast!

Labels: , , , , , ,