Thursday, April 27, 2017

Friday Focus: The Friday 56 & Book Beginnings

It's Friday . . . time to share book excerpts with:
  • Book Beginnings on Fridays hosted by Rose City Reader, where bloggers share the first sentence or more of a current read, as well as initial thoughts about the sentence(s), impressions of the book, or anything else that the opening inspires.  
  • The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice, where you grab a book and turn to page 56 (or 56% of an ebook), find one or more interesting sentences (no spoilers), and post them.
Today I'm featuring my current read, In This Grave Hour by Jacqueline Winspear.  The excerpts shared are from a hardcover edition I borrowed from the library.
 In This Grave Hour (Maisie Dobbs, #13) 

Beginning: Prologue - London, Sunday, September 3rd, 1939
Maisie Dobbs left her garden flat in Holland Park, taking care to lock the door to her private entrance as she departed.  She carried no handbag, no money, but had drawn a cardigan around her shoulders and carried a rolled umbrella, just in case.  There had been a run of hot summer days punctuated by intermittent storms and pouring rain, leaving the air thick and clammy with the promise of more changeable weather, as clouds of luminous white and thunderous graphite lumbered across the sky above.  They reminded Maisie of elephants on the march across a parched plain, and in that moment she wished she were far away in a place where such beasts roamed.
Page 56:  "
"' . . .Anyway, it looks like our thief has his eye on the same sort of target.'"
My thoughts: This is the 13th book in Winspear's Maisie Dobbs series and I have read them all.  Maisie Dobbs, a British psychologist and investigator of humble beginnings, lives in momentous times.  This fiercely independent woman has served her country during the first World War, has taken on post-war government assignments, and is now being drawn into a new investigation as Britain is led into World War II.  

Reading a Maisie Dobbs novel is like visiting with old friends.  The historical setting, endearing returning characters, and well-plotted stories are a real treat to be savored, and the reasons why this is one of my all-time favorite series.
From Goodreads:   Sunday September 3rd 1939.  At the moment Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain broadcasts to the nation Britain’s declaration of war with Germany, a senior Secret Service agent breaks into Maisie Dobbs' flat to await her return. Dr. Francesca Thomas has an urgent assignment for Maisie: to find the killer of a man who escaped occupied Belgium as a boy, some twenty-three years earlier during the Great War.

In a London shadowed by barrage balloons, bomb shelters and the threat of invasion, within days another former Belgian refugee is found murdered.  And as Maisie delves deeper into the killings of the dispossessed from the “last war," a new kind of refugee — an evacuee from London — appears in Maisie's life. The little girl billeted at Maisie’s home in Kent does not, or cannot, speak, and the authorities do not know who the child belongs to or who might have put her on the “Operation Pied Piper” evacuee train.  They know only that her name is Anna.

As Maisie’s search for the killer escalates, the country braces for what is to come.  Britain is approaching its gravest hour — and Maisie could be nearing a crossroads of her own.
This Friday Focus post was originally written and published by Catherine for  It cannot be republished without attribution.  Retweeting and sharing on Google+ are appreciated. 

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