Don’t make no false pretense

‘Tea Cake, you sure you want me tuh go tuh dis picnic wid yuh?’

‘Me scramble ’round tuh git de money tuh take yuh – been workin’ lak uh dawg for two whole weeks – and she come astin’ me if Ah want her tuh go!  Puttin’ mahself tuh ul whole heap uh trouble tuh git dis car so  you kin go over tuh Winter Park or Orlandah tuh buy de things you might need and dis woman set dere and ask me if Ah want her tuh go?

‘Don’t git mad, Tea Cake, Ah just didn’t want you doin’ nothin’ outa politeness.    If dere’s somebody else you’d ruther take, it’s all right wid me.’

‘Naw, it ain’t all right wid you.   If it was you wouldn’t be sayin’ dat.   Have de nerve tuh say what you mean.’

‘Well, all right, Tea Cake.  Ah wants tuh go wid you real bad, but, – oh, Tea Cake, don’t make no false pretense wid me!’

 

Hurston, Zora Neale.  Their Eyes were watching God.  United States of America:   JP Lippincott Company.  1937

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She found love .. eventually

Janie debated the matter that night in bed.

‘Logan, you ‘sleep?’

‘If Ah wuz, you’d be done woke me up callin’ me’.

Ah wuz thinking’ real hard about us, about you and me.

‘It’s about time.  Youse powerful independent around here sometimes considerin’.’

‘Considering whut for instance?’

‘Considerin’ youse born in a carriage ‘thut no top to it, and your mama and you being’ born and raised in de white folks back-yard.’

‘You did’t say all that when you wuz begging Nanny for me to marry you.’

‘Ah though you would ‘preciate good treatment.  Thoughts Ah’d take and make somethin’ outa yuh.  You think youse white folks by de way you act.’

‘S’posin’ Ah wuz to run off and leave yuh sometime.’

There!  Janie had put words to his held-in fears.  She might run off sure enough.  The thought put a terrible ache in Logan’s body, but he thought it best to put on scorn.

‘Ah’m gettin’ sleepy Janie.  Let’s don’t talk no mo’. ‘Tain’t too many mens would trust yuh, knowin’ yo’ folks lak dey do.’

 

Hurston, Zora Neale.  Their Eyes were watching God.  United States of America:   JP Lippincott Company.  1937

At the end of the day

“Shortly before midnight Jean raised his glass.

‘Thank you,’ he said.  ‘For friendship. For truth.  And for this unbelievably delicious meal.’

They all raised their glasses.  Their clinking sounded like a bell tolling for the end of their journey together.”

George, Nina.  The Little Paris Bookshop. Abacus. 2015 (translated by Simon Para)

The holiday read…

Sarah began to look forward to going home.  New York was so vastly different to Ireland that for most of the six months it had been hard to visualise anything from her old life.  Kieran, the shop, even Carrickmore itself.  Now, with her departure imminent, Ireland came back in focus,   She looked forward to hearing the soft accents.  To seeing the lust green field.    To being back with Kieran.

CARROLL, Ber.,  The Better Woman.  Sydney: Pan Macmillan Australia.  2009. 211 pp. (fiction)

Janas – the God of gates and doorways

‘Tell me another myth,’ Isabel said.

Tom thought for a moment.  ‘You know Janas is where January comes from?  It’s named after the same god as this island. He’s got two faces, back to back.  Pretty ugly fellow.’

‘What’s he god of?’

‘Doorways.  Always looking both ways, torn between two ways of seeing things.  January looks forward to the new year and back to the old year.  He sees past and future.  And the island looks in the directions of two different oceans, down to the South Pole and up to the Equator.’

‘Yeah, I’d got that,’ said Isabel. She pinched his nose and laughed.  ‘Just teasing.  I love it when you tell me things.  Tell me more about the stars.  Where’s Centaurus again?’

Tom kissed her fingertips and stretched her arm out until he had lined it up with the constellation.   ‘There.’

Is that your favourite?’ You‘re my favourite.  Better than all the stars put together.’

STEADMAN, M.L., Light Between Oceans.  North Sydney, NSW:  Random House.  2012

Setting the Scene

‘Lise listened but made no comment.  She found this woman, with her intelligent, frank face and friendly smile, immensely puzzling.  She walked beside her in silence.  The gravel crunched under their feet.  The sun was bright and the warm arm carried the earth and tree odours of the country;  carried, too the sounds of the country;  the muted sounds of birds, the scurrying of a rabbit in the underbrush, a doe’s light footfall coming from the edge of the park, only half perceived.  And all these sounds only served to punctuate the great, warm Sunday silence that was over everything.  They came to a spot where the driveway merged into a three-pronged fork.  Straight ahead it ran to the gates.  On the right it curled unseen between trees to the stables at the back of the chateau.  On the left it led down through the park, and here they turned, making their way slowly, stepping now on a soft carpet of pine needles in the cool shade of the woods.’

The lake lay halfway down the slope on a plateau of clipped sward, screened by its own greenery and posed as delicately as a flat stone in a jeweller’s setting.  It came into view as they rounded a curve in the path;  Lise, seeing it suddenly like this, ran forward with delight to stand in the dappled sunlight at its edge.

“Oh, how lovely!”  She clasped her hands like a child, tightly in front of her.  “How perfectly lovely.”‘

ROY, Katherine, Lise.  Toronto: McClennand and Stewart Limited. 1954 (3rd edition).

The Salon

“The Salon had an air of anticipation.  It was always a model of tidiness and order, but now it was shining and burnished, glowing as if it had taken on new life;  the worn spots in the beautiful Aubusson rug seemed not to show by lamplight, the damask panelling appeared less faded and the dark red of the roses spoke of warmth into the room which, with its precisely place Empire furniture, usually looked cool and unused.”

“The lights above Edouard Daurat’s paintings shone down on the proof of his taste and perspicacity.”

ROY, Katherine, Lise.  Toronto: McClennand and Stewart Limited. 1954 (3rd edition).

Book – My August 2014 read

ROY, Katherine. Lise.   Toronto:  McClennand and Stewart Limited. 1954. 3rd edition. (pp251).

I found this delightful book in a pub in Sherborne, England.  I borrowed it from the publican and took it with me to France to read.  It was such a great read and went well with my journey through France and across the countryside in the train.  The book is set in Europe – including and not limited to Kensington (London), Montparnasse (Paris) and Jouy (Northern France).   Then while I was visiting Luxembourg city, I returned the book (by post) back to The George Pub, Upper Cheap Street, Sherborne, Dorset.

The book was a significant part of my 2014 European holiday and on my return home I managed to source a copy to add to my Hallway Library.  Hopefully it will arrive before Christmas and I can add a photo for you here and I can read it again over the holidays.

The Saving Graces

“If half of all marriages end in divorce, how long does the average marriage last?   This isn’t a math problem; I’d really like to know.   I bet it’s less than nine and a half years……”

The above is an extract from the Saving Graces. a novel on the love, loyalty and courage of four women, put to the ultimate test – well that is the blurb on the front cover anyway.  It is also recommended it as a warm and funny read – and I do agree.  This second hand book shop find, was given to me by a friend as an ‘enjoyable read on friendship’ and I skipped easily and quickly through the book, relating to all the personal stories and experiences of the characters.  It is a delightful holiday read.

GAFFNEY, Patricia. The Saving Graces. London:  Simon & Schuster UK. Ltd.. 1999.

On loss and blame

“Perhaps it was her way of mothering me, or perhaps – more fairly – it was an element of her mothering I was able to accept.”

“Poor mother, I rejected her as much as she rejected me – and for the same reason.  Neither of us could bear the other with Jonny gone – or, rather, neither of us could bear that he had gone and we were, each of us, the reminder that he had.  It was years before it occurred to me that my mother believed I blamed her for Jonny’s death every bit as much as I believed she blamed me.  After all, it was she who had been uncharacteristically ill that fatal morning and allowed her two small sons to go off unsupervised.” (Vickers, pp 52)

The above is an extract from Bourgeois Book’s recommended read for the month of April, 2014.  Each month a new book or speech or play – sharing what I have read and enjoyed reading.

VICKERS, Salley. The Other Side of You.  Netley Australia:  Griffin Press. 2006.