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Ecstatic

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The word ecstatic means: Feeling or expressing overwhelming happiness or joyful excitement, and that is what I’m doing here today.

I haven’t posted in a very long time. I’m not sure anyone out there remembers this site or will even read this post, but that doesn’t matter.

Let me explain… I do not consider myself a writer.

I am a reader.

I wrote a book that did not come from talent or imagination. It was just me telling my life story, punctuation, spelling errors and all. I started this blog to publicise that book, but soon found myself happier reading other blogs than writing one myself. So I stopped.

Now why am I sitting here today?…  Writing. Good question!

The only answer I can think of is excitement. I’m so excited, I can’t sit still and I want to shout from the roof top.

I’m going to England!

I’ve been there before. Many times actually, but this time is different. This time I’m going on a ‘literary pilgrimage’.

My parents are coming to Norway (where I live) for a visit, this Spring. My mother suggested that maybe her and I could take a little trip, an excursion while they are here. My first thought was Paris but then a friend soon put another idea into my head. Her and her daughter had just purchased cheap tickets to London and asked if we would like to travel with them.

Except for seeing a show and afternoon tea, London didn’t tempt me. Knowing however, that my mother didn’t care where we went, a thought crossed my mind. The same thought that crosses my mind whenever I think of England. Jane Austen.

Jane Austen has long been my favorite author. I’ve read all her books and although pleasurable, not an easy task. At least not for an American like myself. It’s like reading in another language, new and romantic. I love everything about them. While there is plenty of plot and adventure, they are genteelly written and domestically structured around marriage. They are about women.

If you have never attempted to read one of Jane Austen’s novels, you should, or at least see one of the many films based on them. I’ve seen both the Hollywood and BBC versions, (many times over) neither of which disappoint.

For me it’s not just her writing, but the author herself that entices. I want to walk where she has walked. And that is exactly what I am going to do come June, with a trip to Bath and Chawton cottage.

We will be taking a bus trip from London to Bath, stopping off at Stonehenge. Jane Austen lived several years in Bath. Here we will see the Roman Baths, take afternoon tea and of course visit the Jane Austen Centre.

We will also visit Chawton. I have a friend living near London named Claire, who has kindly offered to drive us. We will visit the village and cottage where Jane Austen spent the last eight years of her life. The literary shrine where six of our greatest novels were first written or given their final form.

I can already hear the birds singing and I’m ecstatic…

A list of my favorite Austen books, in order:

  • Sense and Sensibility
  • Persuasion (surprise)
  • Pride and Prejudice (usually the most popular)
  • Emma
  • Mansfield Park
  • Northanger Abbey

Start reading, Mom!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Love Story

I just finished reading Jane Austen’s Persuasion for the second time and find myself even more wowed over than before. Persuasion is a gripping tale of two people who are meant to be together but are not. The story begins eight years after Anne Elliot was persuaded by her family not to marry Captain Wentworth, a decision she very much regrets. When Captain Wentworth unexpectedly resurfaces and no longer seems interested, Anne’s heartbreak is renewed.

Persuasion was written by Austen in a race against failing health in 1815-16. Almost two hundred years later and we’re still swooning over the plight of Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth. Modern day romances will have a hard time matching that.

No stranger to the unique experience of reuniting with a lost love, I was totally swept up in the fate of this pair. I could feel my heart pounding over the quick glances, caught breathes and silent flustering between them. Anne’s journey from resignation to joy is beautifully and sympathetically written over the course of this book.

Anne Elliot may not have the vitality of Elizabeth Bennet or the wittiness of Emma Woodhouse, but she is sweet, modest, steadfast and patient. I’m also inclined to believe that after building up his own wealth, Captain Wentworth is equally as dashing as Mr Darcy. If you need more proof, here are some of the words he wrote in a letter to Anne:

Dare not say that a man forgets sooner than a woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you.

*sigh*

If you’ve never read Persuasion, you are truly missing out.

It won my heart.

A friend for life

I got back from America last week, but have been busy babysitting my nine-week-old granddaughter. I have much catching up to do. I haven’t posted in almost two weeks and I’m trying as hard as I can to read through all the posts I have in my inbox.

But first…

Today is August 1, and that means its Austen in August month over at Roof Beam Reader. Let me explain why this is so important to me. When I first moved to Norway in 1988, I was a single mother of three, I had just gone through a terrible divorce and was at a very low point in my life. There was no internet, blogging, facebook or skype. It was outrageously expensive to use the telephone and I couldn’t speak Norwegian. I was lonely, until one night when Norway’s one and only television channel, showed a BBC film called Pride and Prejudice. This was my first encounter with Jane and the rest is as they say, history!

If you get the chance pop on over, there is a lot going on…

 

Book Giveaway

A quiet summer at home, well that was the intention…

The only plans my husband and I had this summer were to paint the house and work in the garden. After finishing up a lot earlier than expected and in desperate need of sun, we decided to spend a week in Italy.

Some friends have talked us into taking a long-weekend in Dublin, at the end of August. I’ve been invited to join a group of women-writers, meeting in Scotland the weekend before that, and now a trip to America has unexpectedly dropped into our lives.

My husband was asked by his company to give up a week of his vacation and go to Houston on business. Of course he agreed to do it, as long as they were willing to buy a ticket for me too. I then decided to trade in my ticket to Houston for a ticket to New Jersey, which is where I come from.

Tomorrow morning I’m heading home to the Garden State, for a whole week with family and friends. (Plus shopping, no tax on clothes in NJ). When I get back, my new baby granddaughter will be coming to stay with me, while my daughter and her family go to Lego Land in Denmark. There’s nothing like cuddling with a new born.

There is also an Austen in August reading challenge over at Roof Beam Reader. If you’re a Jane Austen fan (like me) check it out! I will also be participating in a book giveaway there…

Leave me a comment if you’re interested in winning a free copy of my book, Fly Away Home. At the end of August, I’ll pull one name out of a hat, contact the winner, and send the book anywhere in the world.

Sense and Sensibility is my favorite Jane Austen novel however, I’ve decided to read Persuasion, because Anne Elliot is my favorite Austen heroine. I’m also very fond of Elizabeth Bennet, from Pride and Prejudice. Which one will you read?

I’ll be gone for the next two weeks, but am leaving you with these awesome pictures, people have posted on Facebook. I hope you’re all having a great summer…