Posted 20 hours ago

Briefly, A Delicious Life

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That morning, I had gone into the garden to try my hand at swatting fruit from the branches of one of the taller trees, and after that to sneak up on the starlings and howl, which would send them into the air together like a single giant bird. I had it all planned out and was not prepared, not prepared at all, to come across unfamiliar, uninvited lovers. Stevens, Nell (2018). Mrs Gaskell and me: two women, two love stories, two centuries apart. London: Picador. ISBN 9781509868216. (Published in United States as The Victorian and the romantic: a memoir, a love story, and a friendship across time)

Stevens, Nell (2022). Briefly, a delicious life. London. ISBN 978-1529083422. {{ cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher ( link)wear their unconventionality, in George&#8217scase, literally on their sleeves, find themselves in deepening Briefly, A Delicious Life is a story about breaking convention, and about love – yearning, secret, forbidden, unrequited.

between George, Chopin, and Blanca&#8212agorgeous and surprising exploration of artistry, desire, and life A bird startled in the tree above them and flew off, dislodging a little flurry of feathers and leaves, and both men looked up as though expecting bad news. Look again at the chapters titled after Chopin’s compositions: “Prelude No. 11 in B Major, Vivace,” “Prelude No. 4 in E Minor, Largo,” “Prelude No. 9 in E Major, Largo,” etc. Find and play these pieces while you discuss the novel.

Table of Contents

I did feel, perhaps, the book didn’t entirely know how to end itself or what to do with Blanca once she’d told her story (it’s certainly not a text interested in what it means that it has a ghost in it, which—honestly—is fair enough). Or perhaps it was just that the emotional intensity had reached such pitch, with Chopin finally able to piano and yet also about to die maybe and angry Catholics descending on the monastery, that a vague sense of anti-climax was inevitable. After all, as I pointed out in the opening of this review, that’s kind of the problem with life as a whole.

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