So last week was our mid-winter break and we spent it, woo-hoo, in a fancy resort on the Yucatán peninsula. We lolled about on lounge chairs, sipping cocktails and soaking up the sun while the grandchildren shrieked and splashed in the surf. Thank you, Grandma and Grandpa!
I did a lot of reading during this vacation, too. It’s been a long time since I’ve managed to read for hours at a stretch; I didn’t even realize how much I missed it. One of the books I brought was Can You Forgive Her? by Anthony Trollope — oh, Anthony Trollope, where have you been all my life? — and by strange coincidence my mom had brought The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins, which has been on my mental TBR list for years.
I say by strange coincidence because both are big fat Victorian novels, full of dukes and earls and poor relations and governesses and blackguards… you know. My mom and I joked around about whose book was better:
Mom: Well, mine has half sisters.
Me: Oh yeah? Well mine has kissing cousins.
Mom: Yeah, but does yours have a hugely obese yet incredibly charismatic Italian Count?
Me: [struggling to one-up her]: No, but mine has a scoundrel who would be handsome but for the great big ugly scar across his face! And when he’s angry the scar opens up!
Mom: Mine has letters! And a mysterious envelope that arrives with nothing but a blank piece of paper in it!
Me: [really struggling now] Mine has a dairy farmer named Mr. Cheesacre! And his farm is called Oileymead! Ha ha ha ha!
Mom: [smug] Cheesacre, shmeesacre. Mine has an escapee from a mental asylum!
Ok, there she has me beat. My book most definitely does not have an escapee from an mental asylum, and nothing in it that even comes close… except… maybe…
Me: Oh yeah? Well my book has sequels! It’s the first of six in a row!!!
Game and match!