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Austen to Zafón

Reading widely since 1972.

Currently reading

A London Family, 1870-1900: A Trilogy
Molly Hughes
The Cellist of Sarajevo
Steven Galloway
Lives of a Cell: Notes of a Biology Watcher
Lewis Thomas
All the Names
José Saramago, Margaret Jull Costa
A History of the World in 100 Objects
Neil MacGregor
Down the Garden Path
Beverley Nichols
Virtue Betray'd, Or, Anna Bullen
John Banks
Year of Wonders
Geraldine Brooks
Swallows and Amazons
Arthur Ransome
Illusion in java
Gene Fowler

In the Closed Room

In the Closed Room - Frances Hodgson Burnett,  Jessie Willcox Smith I enjoyed this short gothic ghost story...for children? I can't quite figure out who is the intended audience. Older versions have art by Bessie Wilcox Smith, lending the story the air of sweet, rosy children at play. And the main characters *are* small children at play, although not rosy ones. I read it online without pictures and I would say that it's ghostly enough that I can't imagine many small children liking it and yet it's not quite YA either. The descriptions of the grown-ups seem more adult. For example, "...the people in the next flat quarreled more angrily, Judith heard a loud slap, and then the woman began to cry. She was a young married woman, scarcely more than a girl. Her marriage had not been as successful as that of Judith's parents. Both husband and wife had irritable tempers. Through the thin wall Judith could hear the girl sobbing angrily as the man flung himself out of bed, put on his clothes and went out, banging the door after him." I'd be interested to know who the intended audience was at the time of publication in 1904. Perhaps it was children. An altogether odd, rather predictable, but satisfying story that reminded me a bit of Henry James's "The Turn of the Screw."