joy

Jane Gardam

I’m a fan of Jane Gardam’s novels. I’ve been working my way through all of them because I absolutely cannot get enough. I’ve got two to go until — sigh — I’m finished: QUEEN OF THE TAMBOURINE, and SUMMER OF THE FUNERAL. But let me say this: I have enjoyed every single one of these books. I don’t often re-read novels but I can see myself re-reading Jane Gardam (and Kate Atkinson and Margaret Atwood, for that matter). Here’s a quote from Jane Gardam’s A LONG WAY TO VERONA. The main character, Jessica Vye, is reading Thomas Hardy’s JUDE THE OBSCURE.

I hope I never read another book so utterly terrible as this. It is a marvelous book, and I didn’t skip any of it, and I read on and on and on; but all the time I was thinking of Thomas Hardy, of the terrible sorrows and sadness of him. It seemed terrible to me that anyone who knew that he was a writer beyond all possible doubt should have not one glimmer, not one trace of happiness in him.

Yes! And that’s why I love reading Jane Gardam — that glimmer is there in her work. Thank you Jane!