September by Rosamunde Pilcher 2021
One of the very best things about reading is discovering gems and then re-reading them when the mood strikes. A number of the blog posts on the blog feature books I read in my childhood, teens, 20s and 30s. Rediscovering classics and seeing brand new themes and in some cases finding that a book that spoke to me in my 20s, no longer does so today.
A different way of reading is to follow an author through, either by reading all the books in their series or choosing a range of books by one author, picking up themes, or following a character arc or even seeing how a writer has developed.
This year I am taking part in the #pilcherseasons challenge over on Instagram. We read a Rosamund Pilcher book according to the season it feels mostly aligned to. It is Autumn's turn and so we read September.
Plot (From the Back)
A birthday party provides the excuse for Alexa to return to Scotland for the first time in years. And the opportunity to introduce her new boyfriend to her family. But they arrive to find everyone agog at the reappearance of Pandora. Pandora the wild-child who had run away. The one who might have had an affair with Alexa's father.
What will happen when the party is over?
I have read September on the blog before. Would my thoughts have changed? Well yes as it turns out.
I've very much enjoyed this challenge and have already spotted a number of themes running through the 4 novels. The books are all standalone novels, but one of the characters from the Shell Seekers does feature here - Noel Keeling. He is not a particularly pleasant character in The Shell Seekers, so it is interesting that he pops up here. Maybe Rosamund Pilcher wasn't ready to be finished with him yet?The book touched on the aftermath of his mother's death and we do see a shift in him from a superficial status to a life filled with something more meaningful.
My biggest sea change was towards Edmund. Alexa's father. Having thought he was just a slightly cold fish, I disliked him intensely in this reading. I found him patronising towards his wife Virginia. Believing that his difference in age allowed him to make monumentous family decisions without consulting his wife, and then declaring her over-wrought when she disagreed with that decision. I was pleased when she and Henry proved him wrong!
But I still very much enjoyed it! The action takes place in Scotland and the descriptions of this wild and beautiful place are second to none. It's fascinating to hear how the community functions especially during the harsh winter months.
The women in the book are the stars here - flightly Pandora, Alexa tentatively exploring first love, the wonderful Violet and supportive Edie. Archie's story is touching as he comes to terms with PTSD following his time in the army.
The writing is sublime. Every detail picked up on but never fussy. I just adore this author's work.
December's Choice in the #pilcherseasons readalong is Winter Solstice, one of my favourite books. I will be back tomorrow with my wrap up of all the books read and reviewed in September. Have a good day.