In May the second book in the series Tales of Goswell was published. This is The Lost Garden by Katharine Swartz. I bought and read it on publication day. Another blogger has recently written a comprehensive review of it. I agree with his assessment. The first book in the series is more lightweight. The Vicar’s Wife was originally published as a serial in The People’s Friend. It was then adapted for publication as a book. The second book in the series was written without the restrictions associated with writing for a particular audience. I am looking forward to the third book in the series. Katharine Swartz has been blogging about the village on which the fictional Goswell is based here. Of the books I am writing about here, this one would appeal to the widest readership.
The next book I read was The Unholy Communion by Donna Fletcher Crow. This book is well written and well constructed. Each character is introduced as they join a pilgrimage. The subject matter was a little dark for my taste and I wondered how much of the style of worship would be familiar to people, who had not experienced (Anglo-) Catholicism. The story held my attention and had plenty of suspense and action. Donna Fletcher Crow recently wrote about the way in which she researches the background to her novels.
In June I read two second-hand books. The first was The Riddle and the Knight: In search of Sir John Mandeville by Giles Milton. History is not my favourite subject, but this non-fiction book was more of a travel documentary and mystery. I enjoyed it and intend to write more about it later.
Also in June I was given a copy of Life at the Keswick Convention: A personal recollection by Maurice Rowlandson. This was published in 1997. The author had been the secretary to Keswick Ministries for a number of years. He systematically presented a history of the Convention, his own experiences and his index card system, which enabled him to organise efficiently. He was also involved with Billy Graham’s ministry in the UK and travelled to the USA a number of times. I found the book very interesting. It was well-written and provided background information about the Church in England, which I had not been aware of, although I was alive at the time. There is also the transcript of a talk given at Keswick. I have never attended any of the meetings at Keswick Convention, but know lots of people, who have. It is something I’d like to do given the opportunity.
What have you read recently? Have you read any of these books?