The latter, Fannie Flagg's book, was a delight: a life-affirming story of nice people with a little quirky twist that was just delicious.
But I didn't finish The Return by Victoria Hislop. It was good, -ish, although she seemed to be trying a bit hard with the adjectives but it was partly set during the Spanish Civil war and I kept forgetting the difference between the Nationalists, the Republic, left, right, goodies and baddies. My excuse is that I read late at night when all I'm fit for is Enid Blyton. Having said that, I used to struggle to identify the characters in the Secret Seven.
This time, I chose total froth in the shape of Wendy Holden's latest, Gallery Girl. Completely frivolous it's well-written, and I've enjoyed her previous books. For something completely different, I opted for Bloodsucking Fiends by Christopher Moore. The author was recommended to me by my brother-in-law-in-law at the weekend. It's a funny fantasy novel so as I don't read fantasy or sci-fi, I shall approach this with trepidation.
My third choice was a small pamphlet of poetry. At the tea for the elderly on Sunday, Gary read two poems from a Gower farmer/poet, now deceased. I'd never heard of Cyril Gwynn who, apparently, composed poetry while ploughing and doing other farming-type thins, and was a popular guest events where he'd recite his stories. The book is called The Gower Yarns of Cyril Gwynn, and here's one of the poems Gary read. (Best read aloud dramatically, preferably in a singsong Welsh accent.) (And I'm not a big poetry fan but this is worth reading.)
The Widow's Reply
A bareheaded crowd in the churchyard stood,
In silent respect to the dead,
The birds were singing near by in the wood,
And the breeze wafted in from Worm's Head.
The widow looked down on a strong oak case,
With grief she was almost demented,
For him that was gone, she could never replace,
And her loss was sadly lamented.
A wonderful father and husband was he,
Small wonder indeed she was fretting,
As she thought of the children who'd played at his knee,
And declared she would never forget him.
The service now over the people had gone,
The widow sat down on a stone,
She told her friends and relations to go on,
And said she would follow alone.
But on the way home she paused by a gate,
And while in reflection she tarried,
A widower offered to share her fate,
He suggested they both get married.
The widow replied with many a sob,
"I know your intentions are right,
And I'm sorry to have to to refuse you, Bob,
But I promised Davy Robin last night."