Thursday, 19 June 2008

Reading right now: Green Dolphin Country

My friend D. knows that I have a special affinity for dolphins and whales. Whenever we see each other she almost apologetically hands over a bag of goodies, all dolphin- or whale-themed, that she collects in the intervals between our meetings: books, movies, trinket boxes, jewelry... She's a wonderful friend, she is, and I consider her one of the blessings I have to count regularly.

I haven't been to the library for awhile, and tonight I looked at the bookshelf in desperation, wondering what I should re-read. And there, there, I found not one but two of her gifts! I must've put them there as I unpacked the last bag of goodies and now they've popped up just in time to fill my need.

Green Dolphin Country [1944], a prize-winning novel by English writer Elizabeth Goudge [1900-1984], was made into a movie which won an Academy Award for special effects in 1948. According to one reviewer on Amazon, "It's the story of 2 very different sisters - the beautiful and joyful Marguerite, and the stubborn and intelligent Marianne, who both fall in love with the same man. He has gone to New Zealand - the book is set in the 1800s - and he writes home to ask to marry the sister he loves, but in a drunken state, puts down the wrong name. When she arrives she has to deal with the hardships of life there, while he tries to come to terms with his mistake, and the fact that the sister he loves has entered a convent." Apparently, it's based on a true story.

Next in line is a good old Mills & Boon romance, Island of Dolphins by Lillian Cheatham. Have to admit that it's been a w-h-i-l-e since I read one of those. This one is set on a tiny Caribbean island, much like the one where I live and where I've set my first novel, I suspect. I'll begin with this one (intriguing as the first sounds) since it's a little book and I'm in the mood for something very light. I'm also curious to see how the Caribbean is portrayed by this writer.

Oh, and that cover image at the top? Nothing like the one I've got, but it's the only one I could find.


Debs said...

I love the sound of those books especially the Elizabeth Goudge and think I've heard of this story. I must get the book and have a read.

What a lovely thoughtful friend you have.

wordtryst said...

Debs, I'm two-thirds through the Elizabeth Goudge and I would recommend it with no reservations. Absolutely beautiful writing, wonderful story... I haven't read anything this good in a long time. It's one of those books that make you despair of ever writing anything half as worthwhile.

Yes, my friend is the best!