Hinton Ampner in Hampshire is always worth a visit, though felt too hot (on October 1) yesterday. Interesting history too.
Here's what the Observer thought about Engleby by Sebastian Faulks, which I've belatedly read. Engleby is a strange boy who feels out of place most of his life, leading to mental stress and a dark deed. A good book with telling descriptions of boarding school & university life and a troubled mind.
Much more amusing, but also touching on mental stress, a misfit, boarding school life and a dark event, was Marika Cobbold's Drowning Rose. Here's the blurb.
Sometimes the hardest person to forgive is yourself.. Eliza Cummings, a ceramics restorer at the V&A Museum, is leaving work when she receives an unexpected phone call. Standing in the haze of the Christmas lights she hears a voice which draws her back twenty-five years – to the night Rose died. But why does Rose’s father want her to visit him? Why now?
Grief and guilt cast terrible shadows, but as this beautifully wrought story unfolds and the scene shifts from London to the fairy tale landscape of the Swedish countryside – and back in time to Eliza’s school days – we learn that generosity, humour and friendship can smooth over and restore even the most broken lives, and that some secrets can’t be kept hidden…
Do read it. Marika has an original, quirky way of writing, and her main character is appealing. We love the charming Eliza and want her to have a happier life. A clever, well-constructed novel, both light-hearted yet serious.