The Ghost and Mrs. Muir

One more post for Reading Ireland! I have not read this book, yet, but I have seen the movie and it is one of my top five favorites. I never knew until yesterday that the book the movie is based on was written by an Irishwoman! R.A. Dick is the pseudonym for Irish writer Josephine Aimee Campbell Leslie. She was born in Wexford in 1898 and died in 1979 and not much else is known about her. All I can find is three books by her, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, The Devil and Mrs. Devine and Light and Shade.

1945 hardback

I ordered a copy of the book, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir! A new paperback. I would have loved to have this first edition hardback but it cost $1,000.00! Yikes!

book description: Burdened by debt after her husband’s death, Lucy Muir insists on moving into the very cheap Gull Cottage in the quaint seaside village of Whitecliff, despite multiple warnings that the house is haunted. Upon discovering the rumors to be true, the young widow ends up forming a special companionship with the ghost of handsome former sea captain Daniel Gregg. Through the struggles of supporting her children, seeking out romance from the wrong places, and working to publish the captain’s story as a book, Blood and Swash, Lucy finds in her secret relationship with Captain Gregg a comfort and blossoming love she never could have predicted.

This was made into a 1947 movie and in 1968 a television sitcom!

Have you ever seen the movie? It’s a real delight. I found it free on Internet Archive! You can watch online or ghost-and-mrs_-muirdownload it free. Check it out and let me know what you think. A good gothic romance is a breath of fresh air once in a while. Get yourself a cup of tea or coffee and go curl up and watch HERE! Lots of good movies and old books on Internet Archive!

 

 


The Devil and Mrs. Devine: The stor611998y begins in 1807 with the 12-year-old Danielle Bellaires. Abandoned by her father after her mother’s death in child birth, she is unhappily in the care of her father’s sister-in-law. Rebelling, she finds sanctuary in two marriages, each happy in their own way, but each ending with her widowhood. Along the way, the devil causes her to be always 30, as long as she wants to live, although she never actually agrees to his bargain.

Light and Shade: Selina Victoria Verney was eighty, but this was her first chance to fulfil her ambition and travel. So she set off for Central Africa to visit her youngest son, taking her eighteen-year-old granddaughter Jane with her.

The Heat of the Day

195987In The Heat of the Day, Elizabeth Bowen brilliantly re-creates the tense and dangerous atmosphere of London during the bombing raids of World War II.

Many people have fled the city, and those who have stayed behind find themselves thrown together in an odd intimacy born of crisis. Stella Rodney is one of those who has chosen to stay. But for her, the sense of impending catastrophe becomes acutely personal when she discovers that her lover, Robert, is suspected of selling secrets to the enemy, and that the man who is following him wants Stella herself as the price of his silence. Caught between these two men, not sure whom to believe, Stella finds her world crumbling as she learns how little we can truly know of those around us.


This was my fifth book for this year’s Reading Ireland. Cathy hosts this every March over at 746 Books. If you’d like to check out all the links to reviews of Irish literature posted this year head on over HERE.

The Heat of the Day is an excellent book! The writing is very evocative, heavy with meaning in every little movement and word. Ms. Bowen does a great job of pulling you into WWII London, the sense of death every minute, the destruction and despair, how it changes you. Great tension between the characters too! If you like books set in WWII you will really like this one!

I’m not a really eloquent reviewer, but I know someone who is and you can read her review of this novel at Heavenali!

John B. Keane

…I often laugh quietly to myself when I hear people say that all the great characters are gone from the world. The characters are still there waiting to be discovered…

IMG_7823John B. Keane introduces us to ‘Corner Boys’, ‘Window Peepers’, ‘Human Gooseberries’, ‘Fortune-Tellers’, ‘Funeral Lovers’, ‘Female Corpses’, ‘The girls who came with the Band’ and many more fascinating characters in Love Bites and Other Stories.

Keane is one of Ireland’s most humorous authors and is recognized as a major Irish playwright. He has written many bestsellers including Letters of a Successful TD, Letters of an Irish Parish Priest, Letters of an Irish Publican, Letters of a Matchmaker, Letters of a Love-Hungry Farmer, The Gentle Art of Matchmaking, Irish Short Stories, More Irish Short Stories, The Bodhràn Makers and Man of the Triple Name. His plays include The Field, The Year of the Hiker, Big Maggie, Sive, Sharon’s Grave, Many Young Men of Twenty, The Man from Clare, Moll, The Change in Mame Fadden, Values, The Crazy Wall and The Buds of Ballybunion.


A wonderful little book full of characters that make you laugh and cry. Each little story is only about 2 1/2 pages long. Perfect to pick up for a quick story when you have a few minutes, need a laugh, or like at my house on the ‘john’, no pun intended! One of them, ‘Hatching’, was a tale of a chicken appointed to sit on a clutch of eggs that weren’t hers. Problem was she wouldn’t cooperate and sit on them! Every chance she got she made for the door and would have to be recaptured and sat back on it only to run again. The family was exhausted…

‘There’s only one cure for the hoor,’ announced an old woman who chanced to call one evening for the loan of a cup of sugar.

‘What’s that?’ we all asked.

‘The bottle,’ said she. We waited for elaboration but none came. We asked again.

‘What bottle,’ said she, ‘but the hot stuff.’

Of course we all knew what the hot stuff was. Weren’t the man of the house and his cronies greatly addicted to it without any great harm!

‘It will rest the creature,’ said the old woman, ‘and it will keep her off her feet.’

So the hot stuff was brought out and the said chicken was presented with a saucer of it and they kept her drunk so she would sleep and sit on the eggs so the hatching process could progress!

After a fortnight the eggs were hatched and there emerged twelve of the handsomest chicks you ever saw.

The hatcher died soon afterwards of liver disease but she had nobly served her purpose and if some may crib about forcing her into alcoholism I say to these to come and have a gander at the lovely chicks she hatched. They grew up into outstanding specimens of their breed, seven hens and five cocks. One hen who wandered too far from the fowl-run was carried off by a fox but the other eleven survived and I know for a gospel fact that not a solitary one of that fine clutch ever put a taste of booze to their beaks to the day they departed for that heavenly henhouse in the sky. So we see some more of the good uses to which whiskey may be put as if there weren’t enough already.

I think you’d enjoy this little gem!

John B. Keane was born in Listowel Ireland in 1928. He and his wife Mary lived over their pub, referred to as John B.’s. He wrote in a small room there. He died in 2002 of prostate cancer. His eldest son operates it now. It’s a wonderful place and Billy Keane is a wonderful storyteller! We got to visit it on our tour in 2019. We had scones and drink and Billy told us stories of growing up with his da and local stories. He had us all laughing so! One of the highlights for me of the trip.  You can watch a nice interview with Keane done for his 70th birthday HERE.

Sive (pronounced like hive) was Keane’s first play. It dealt with arranged marriages and was a tragic tale. You can listen to an audio recording of the play HERE. There is a mural painted behind the bar of a scene from the play. I got a good shot of it!

Listowel is a lovely town and I wish we could have spent more time there! If you ever get a chance to go DO!

#Read Ireland Month #Beggoraton21 @Cathy’s 746 Books!

The Coconut Killings

By Patricia Moyes  born in Dublin 1923

A U.S. Senator is found brutally murdered with a machete on the grounds of an exclusive golf club on one of the British Seaward Islands. John and Margaret Colville, who operate a modest hotel on the island, ask their friends Chief Superintendent Henry Tibbett and his wife, Emmy, to come to St. Mathew’s to conduct an investigation. Although an amiable young islander who tends bar for the Colvilles has been arrested for the crime, Henry soon discovers that the murder rests on complex motives reaching far beyond the Caribbean.

Henry Tibbett, Chief Superintendent of Scotland Yard, has for years delighted those who love a classic British detective story. A modest, self-effacing man, Tibbett possesses an almost uncanny “nose” for crime, and those who know him well realize that his gentlemanly demeanor masks a shrewd mind and a fearless spirit. When he teams up with his wife, Emmy, a cheerful but formidable woman, there isn’t a criminal anywhere who can rest secure.


My first Patricia Moyes book. I really liked the characters of Henry and his wife and think I will enjoy more of this series. I didn’t care for the setting of this one though and didn’t really like any of the other characters. Reading other reviews on this book, others commented that this was their least favorite book in the series. Leave it to me to start with it!

Not quite the ‘cozy’ I expected, it was a cross of cozy and political thriller. American politicians, lobbyists and the cotton industry tie in with the murders. Meanwhile there is political unrest on the island and curfews are set amid riots and burning buildings. Could they be connected? A well plotted mystery.

Henry had the use of a Moke to get around the island. Not sure what that was so I looked up an image of one…

Reading Ireland @746 Books      #begorrathon19

Begorrathon Song

This is Read Ireland month over @ 746 Books and this band is an Irish worship band from Monaghan, Ireland. Darren Mulligan is the young man singing and the lead singer for the band. I haven’t gotten much reading done these last two weeks, hoping to be able to get back to it. In the meantime I’m sharing this for Ireland month!

I know I shared this song with you before, but bear with me, this is a new version with only strings and recorded live in one take. I LOVE it. I listen over and over. The intensity of Darren while singing this gets me every time! Watch him!

This man and David Crowder are my all time favorite singers. They know the heart of God and can communicate it so well!

Guess what! I’m going to Ireland August 30th for 13 days! My friend Cheryl and I are going! I am so excited! We are doing a CIE tour…

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Back to reading, I actually have three Irish author books started: The Coconut Killings by Patricia Moyes, The House in Paris by Elizabeth Bowen and Foxprints by Patrick McGinley. I had such plans for this months reading, but you know the saying: Best laid plans of mice and men. Life got in the way. Still have 12 days to go, we’ll see what happens…

 

#begorrathon19   Reading Ireland Month @ 746 Books

 

Felicia’s Journey

277207by William Trevor

Felicia is unmarried, pregnant, and penniless. She steals away from a small Irish town and drifts through the industrial English Midlands, searching for the boyfriend who left her. Instead she meets up with Mr. Hilditch, who is looking for a new friend to join the five other girls in his Memory Lane. But strange, sad, terrifying tricks of chance unravel both his and Felicia’s delusions in a story that will magnetize fans of Alfred Hitchcock and Ruth Rendell even as it resonates with William Trevor’s own “impeccable strength and piercing profundity”


WOW! This is a mix, full of suspense, dread, fear. This story is really about the lies we tell ourselves. The delusions we need to make us feel comfortable. Kept me turning the pages for sure. But it is so sad. The last book I read by him was sad too. I like his writing and he keeps me very engaged, I just wish they weren’t so sad. But on the other hand, life doesn’t always turn out peachy keen so his writing is very realistic and I like that. I will definitely read more by William Trevor!

On to an Elizabeth Bowen book!

#begorrathon19  Reading Ireland Month @746 Books