The Solitary Summer by Elizabeth von Arnim

The Solitary SummerThe Solitary Summer by Elizabeth von Arnim

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Free download available at Project Gutenberg.

Opening lines:
May 2nd.—Last night after dinner, when we were in the garden, I said, “I want to be alone for a whole summer, and get to the very dregs of life. I want to be as idle as I can, so that my soul may have time to grow. Nobody shall be invited to stay with me, and if any one calls they will be told that I am out, or away, or sick. I shall spend the months in the garden, and on the plain, and in the forests. I shall watch the things that happen in my garden, and see where I have made mistakes.

Page 10:

What a blessing it is to love books. Everybody must love something, and I know of no objects of love that give such substantial and unfailing returns as books and a garden. And how easy it would have been to come into the world without this, and possessed instead of an all-consuming passion, say, for hats, perpetually raging round my empty soul!

Page 12:

I prefer sitting here on the verandah and looking down through a frame of leaves at all the rosebuds June has put in the beds round the sun-dial, to ponder over nothing, and just be glad that I am alive.

Page 39:

Any story-book or novel you take up is full of feeling descriptions of what everybody ate and drank, and there are a great many more meals than kisses; so that the novel-reader who expects a love-tale, finds with disgust that he is put off with menus.

Page 42:

Oh a garden is a sweet, sane refuge to have! Whether I am tired because I have enjoyed myself too much, or tired because I have lectured the servants too much, or tired because I have talked to missionaries too much, I have only to come down the verandah steps into the garden to be at once restored to quiet, and serenity, and my real and natural self.

What else should I say about this book? Only this: another little gem written by Elizabeth von Arnim.

4* The Enchanted April
3* The Adventures of Elizabeth in Rugen
4* Elizabeth and Her German Garden
3* The Solitary Summer
TBR Christopher And Columbus
TBR Vera


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