Reading “Dorothy Dunnett”

I  have to admit right away that I borrowed the title Reading “Dunnett” from a Facebook group that I belong to.  For fans of Dorothy Dunnett’s books it is a place to gather and read a chosen book together and discuss all the questions and observations that have plagued her readers over the years.

Dorothy Dunnett is the author of several fascinating historical fiction books.  I first checked out “The Game Of Kings” from my library  mainly because it was a fat book which was the beginning of a rather long series.  I was deep in grief at the time, and looking for escapism.  Well, I found it!  At first I didn’t know if I was reading about a hero, a villain, or something in between, however the fantastic use of language by this author kept me reading.  I finished ‘Kings’, and moved on to “Queens Play”.  I still wasn’t sure about her main character, Francis Crawford, but he was growing on me.  Even when I didn’t like how he acted, I found him endlessly fascinating.  So did many of the characters in the books, and I found out years later that many readers of DD did also.

On one of my many re-reads of the Lymond Chronicles I began to notice that she was using words that I didn’t always know the meanings of, and I thought I was pretty literate!  In fact, I found out that there was at least one word every few pages that I wasn’t always sure about. This says something about her writing ability that I was so absorbed in the plots and characters  of her novels that I didn’t even notice all those words at first.  I tried keeping a dictionary at hand to look up all the words that I wasn’t sure of, because her writing is so nuanced that literally every word matters!  However that soon gave away to just indulging in a good read.

When I got my Kindle and began reading Dorothy Dunnett on it, it was exciting to be able to record my comments and questions for future reads, and to look up obscure historical figures and events and All Those Words!

 

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Christmas

I used to think I was rather trendy at Christmas, every year I would add to or make new Christmas decorations for our home.  I loved to sew, and that added all sorts of creativity. These years tho, my favorite and most treasured decorations often involve the very old, and the child-made kind.

By very old I usually mean pretty shabby as these don’t always stand the test of time very well.  But Christmas would not be Christmas if we didn’t hang or set out these precious relics of our lives.img_2701

There is the little stocking I crocheted when our boys were small, and there is one of the plastic canvas ornaments that my dad’s cousin sent us almost every year.  Oh, and there is our daughter’s cat.  She isn’t a relic, but rather a symbol of all the cats who have graced our lives. At the left hand top of the picture is the tip of the wing of a handmade glass angel that a former pastor gave to each child in the church.  Above the cat is a paper star with glitter that our daughter made long, long ago in Sunday School.  These things meld together and make up our Christmas memories today.

My mom always hung a faded  tissue paper bell between our dining room and our living room. It was one of those accordion types, that folded flat to store, and you opened up to use.  It had belonged to some grandma, and probably held good memories for her. Having  always been a lover of things past, the faded bell never bothered me, but I wish I had asked mom its history.

One thing that always remains constant in our Christmas is the nativity scene that was made for us by my sister in law years ago.  Every year we unpack and set it up, and every year we are thankful for that little Baby that God sent so long ago.  That Baby grew up to be our Savior and the means by which we will rejoin all our family members who believe in Him someday in heaven.  Thank you Jesus.