A few years ago a generous colleague bought me a copy of Betty Miller’s Farewell Leicester Square–my first Persephone edition. I’ve lusted after these books for a long time, but I have so many other book fetishes I thought I should keep this one in check as long as possible. Is that why I left the book languishing for so long? Fear that I would feel compelled to order many more of these austere oblong editions with their delicious endpapers? More likely it’s because my TBR pile grows like kudzu: what once saw the light of day is soon overgrown by the new arrivals that shawl out of the ground like vast clouds of gnats. When I came across a Persephone Raadathon hosted by Jessie of the blog Dwell in Possibility, I thought I would take the chance to thank my colleague for her kind gesture by actually reading the book. (It’s about the pressures to assimilate experienced by Jews in 1930s England–so intriguing!) Do you have unread Persephones lying around? Why not join in too?
I love Persephone books and have a stack of unread ones. I should join in too. I had the pleasure of visiting their shop in London last April. So charming!
I’d like to do the same one day! Yes, by all means join in!
Please do, Melissa!! Which Persephones do you have on your TBR stack?
Hooray for first Persephones!! I can completely understand trying to keep your Persephone Books obsession at bay for as long as possible. Once you’ve read and loved one, it’s a slippery slope into a full blown addiction! I’m really looking forward to hearing your thoughts about Farewell Leicester Square. It’s not one I see discussed very often, but it sounds incredibly interesting and informative. Very happy you’ll be joining in the readathon fun. Enjoy!
Yes, and they are a bit tricky/expensive to get in the US. And part of me wants to wait until I can make the pilgrimage to the shop. Anyway, I’m looking forward to joining in. A person whose taste I respect said the other Millers are even better, but they are hard to find. (Virago had a couple back in the day.) I wonder if Persephone will do more.
Exactly! So difficult to find on this side of the pond, and shipping can be very pricey. It’s the one downside to being an American Persephone fan really…
Oh good heavens. A week ago I finished reading a Persephone book that had been on my shelf for two years. I am just about to post on it. Not sure I will wait until the 21st to do so, but if I don’t, I hope it can still count for the readathon.
I’m looking forward to reading your post!
Lovely. I may well be able to post about a Persephone book in the next couple of weeks to fit in with this readalong. It’s a Dorothy Whipple, my first experience of her work. As for your book, Betty Miller is completely new to me, so I’ll be interested to see what you think!
Sounds great, Jacqui. I always hear about Whipple (that name!) but I’ve no idea what the deal is. Curious to hear your take. BTW that Highsmith sounds great; I’m going to track it down.
Oh, cool. I’m glad you like the sound of the Highsmith. It’s deliciously barbed and twisted in the best possible way.
Have you read the Ripleys? I own those so maybe should get to them first. Deep Water is a favourite.
I have read the Ripleys. They’re terrific, the first in particular. Highsmith had such a talent for creating those charming psychopaths…
Her and Nabokov. Something in the water in the 50s… This is good incentive for me to finally get to the Ripleys, thanks.
I’ve had this one for SO many years, and though I’ve read dozens of Persephones, have never picked up this one. Despite that lovely endpaper!
Read the first 40 pp after Yom Kippur ended this evening. Pretty darn good so far.
Ugh, just read this post again. Serious mixed metaphor going on there!
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