Virago Round Up: Day 6!

Virago Reading Week is still going strong! Tomorrow is the last day, so if you’re still reading or haven’t had a chance to participate yet, don’t worry – you still have a chance! Don’t forget the competitions on mine and Carolyn’s blogs, and also Thomas’ competitions – get your answers in before the deadlines! Carolyn and I will be announcing all the prize winners on Monday – in addition to the competitions, we will be giving away prizes for the Best Overall Participant and we will both be choosing our favourite reviews of the week. All very exciting! Come back here tomorrow for the final Virago Reading Week roundup – I can’t believe it has been six days already; they have flown by, and I hope everyone has had as much fun as Carolyn and I have!

So, without further ado, here’s today’s round up! If I missed you, I apologise in advance – please post a link to your review in the comments and I’ll make sure you get a mention.

Libellule has posted about rediscovering Edith Wharton through the book she formerly hated as a high school student; Ethan Frome. Now she is a Wharton convert!

Laura of Laura’s Musings has written a tremendous review of my favourite read of 2010, Mollie Panter-Downes’ One Fine Day. Her sensitive exploration of the themes of loss and hope has made me desperate to reread this truly remarkable portrait of post war English life.

Lyn of I Prefer Reading has given us a double whammy of Virago joy today – a brilliant review of Enid Bagnold’s lesser read, remarkable exploration of pregnancy and motherhood, The Squire, and a lovely post with photographs of Virago cover art.

Luvvie of Luvvie’s Musings has posted a beautiful photo of F Tennyson Jesse’s A Lacquer Lady – very artfully posed!

The lovely Danielle of A Work in Progress, after all of her teasers this week, has finished E M Delafield’s Thank Heaven Fasting and written a fantastic review. A story about the desperation of a young girl to marry in the Edwardian period, it’s an excellent account of the limited opportunities and emphasis on making a good marriage that women faced in the 19th and early 20th centuries. I read it not long ago and absolutely loved it – highly recommended!

Dear Claire of Kiss a Cloud has read her first proper Virago; Enid Bagnold’s The Happy Foreigner. It didn’t blow her away, though she very much enjoyed it still, and she is looking forward to reading more Viragos in future! Hurrah! We have a convert!

The always enthusiastic JoAnn of Lakeside Musing has today posted about Barbara Pym’s Excellent Women.  JoAnn’s review is truly excellent and has made me want to read this ‘bittersweet’ novel very soon!

The ridiculously generous Thomas at My Porch has another wonderful giveaway – go and comment on this post if you would like his spare copy of Antonia White’s The Lost Traveller!

Lovely, lovely Darlene of Roses Over a Cottage Door had a moment of serendipity when she wandered into a used book store and happened to find a Virago she hadn’t seen before; Enid Bagnold’s The Loved and Envied. Enid seems to be popular today! Do go on over and tell Darlene what you know about her, if you know anything, as she’s desperate to find out more!

Helen of She Reads Novels has continued the universal love of Elizabeth Von Arnim and posted an enchanting review of The Enchanted April.

Carol of Book Group of One has written an interesting review of a lesser read Virago, The Loved and Envied – the same book Darlene found –  Enid Bagnold is certainly popular today!

Jane at Fleur Fisher in her world has written a lovely and alluring review of a newer Virago Modern Classic, Stella Gibbons’ (of Cold Comfort Farm fame) long out of print but now reissued Nightingale Wood.

Carolyn, my lovely co host, has written a tremendous review of Elizabeth and Her German Garden – if this doesn’t intice you to read it, nothing will!

Last but not least the lovely Chrissy has written an interesting review of Barbara Pym’s Excellent Women, which, unfortunately, unlike JoAnn, she did not enjoy. It just goes to show – we all have different reading tastes, even amongst Virago lovers!



  1. The week has flown by. I finished reading Invitation to the Waltz by Rosamond Lehmann today on lunch. Olivia, who has just turned 17, is attending her first dance. Her narration did make me laugh out loud at times. I found her opening of the birthday gifts a refreshingly honest thing as she saw it as a chore to amble through whilst making everyone feel they are appreciated and have made you happy. You could fairly feel the dread and breathe a great sigh of relief when her birthday day was over. Also her impressions of some of the boys she danced with were too funny. Now I’ve picked up The Holiday by Stevie Smith which I am not excited about at all as I read her Novel on Yellow Paper and couldn’t stop thinking she needed an editor. Hope I fair better with this one…

    1. It really has! It’s gone far too quickly for my liking! Your description of Invitation to the Waltz has me desperate to read it now – it’s one of the few Lehmanns I haven’t read. I hear such good things about it!

      I don’t envy you reading Stevie Smith – she’s not a favourite of mine. I hope you get on better with The Holiday though and that Virago Reading Week doesn’t end on a sour note for you!

  2. Sneaking on here when I really should be cleaning The Bathroom. I shall just have to return later to follow through all your links. I’ve had a wonderful week – thank you for hosting.

    1. Ha! Cleaning The Bathroom should always come second to far more pleasureable pursuits! 🙂 Thank you so much for taking part and it has been a pleasure to host for such wonderful readers and participants. So glad you enjoyed it. 🙂

  3. Thanks to both of you for organising this terrific event. I have kicked off my new blog Under Melbourne Skies with some thoughts on Surfacing by Margaret Atwood.

    1. Hello UMS! How exciting that you have started a blog and that your first post is one about Virago Reading Week, no less! Wonderful news. 🙂 Thank you so much for taking part!

  4. I can not begin to tell you how excited I have been to log on every day and find out what people have to say about their Virago reading experience! You and Carolyn have done an amazing job of bringing everyone together, congratulations!

    The owner of the bookshop I visited yesterday says that he is sure there are more green covered lovlies in the basement so he took my name and will try to compile a stack for me to look over. Sounds like Aladdin’s Cave down there!

    1. Thank you Darlene! You are so lovely. Thank YOU for your wonderful participation!

      How fantastic! I always dream of striking up friendships with bookshop owners but in reality I am always too scared to talk to them properly in case they convince me to buy things I shouldn’t be buying. But it sounds like you have found a good one there! I wonder what he’ll uncover for you?!

  5. I’ve missed a few posts, but has anyone mentioned Thank Heaven Fasting by E.M. Delafield? One of my Must Reads!

  6. Here’s two more to add, I think! Somehow I missed this post, it didn’t come up on my reader! Today I’m debating what to write — a review of Dusty Answer which I finally finished or an overall look at why I like Virago…

  7. I have just discovered your blog from Joanne at Lakeside Musing. I like your book taste but wish I found you a little sooner because I would have eagerly participated in Virago Reading Week. It’s a wonderful idea and a brilliant way of focusing on some great books! I am enjoying your post and those of the other participants!

    1. Hi Amy! It’s so lovely to meet a new face. Thanks so much for coming by and I am so pleased you like what you found! Don’t worry, I’m sure Carolyn and I will be doing this again next year so you’ll have another chance to participate then!

    1. Hi Kristin, sorry I missed your post without you telling me about it! Thanks so much for taking part and I’m so glad that you enjoyed it – we shall be doing it again, I think!!

    1. Thank you – I got it and have included it in the final wrap up. I am so glad you’ve enjoyed the week – I have too and it’s been wonderful getting to see so many new faces and also get some new ideas for books and authors to try. Enjoy Miss Mole!

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