December 25, 2013

Flavia de Luce, no. 6

      Whatever Tristram had done with the faulty sparking plug must have cured the problem. The engine was running with a silky, self-satisfied rumble, popping a it with joy as if it could hardly wait to get off the ground and into the air.
      Now Aunt Felicity was lowering herself into the rear cockpit and the stick and pedals in front of me began to wigwag of their own accord.
      The throttle shot forward in its metal quadrant and we began to move.
      The Visto became a blur. Buckshaw rotated slowly in the near distance as if it were on a turntable and we were standing still.
      And then the ground dropped and for the second time in my life I was flying. ...
      Beneath our wings, Buckshaw lay spread out in the sun, a dreamy mirage of green lands:  a fairy tale kingdom in miniature. From this altitude, you could not see the black line painted in the foyer that divided the house into two camps, nor could you detect the frost that had recently descended upon the house.
      Or had it been there all along, and I had only recently learned to notice?

Even though I would have wanted to read it anyway, Frances' description of The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches made me long to read it even sooner, and it was thanks to her mentioning it that I was able to read it early, courtesy of Delacorte Press and Netgalley. {It will be published in January.}

This installment is a little sadder and darker, a little less wise-cracky, than the earlier ones, but that makes sense, since it is about heartbreak and grief and secrets. But I loved the beginning, and the middle, and the ending, and I'm very glad that this will not be end (as she thought it might be) of Flavia de Luce.

After all, she's still only eleven.

I think I enjoyed the opening so much in part because it reminded me of a place I loved to visit, another estate with its own more-or-less abandoned train station.  Now I want to plan another visit there, maybe in time for this?

* * * * * * * * * *

I hope you've been having a joyful, peaceful holiday season. Over the last few years, my brother, sister-in-law and nephews have created a {wonderful} new tradition of early mass and a lovely dinner on Christmas Eve, and so for me the festivities are winding down. It's a clear, sunny, cold, calm, restful afternoon, the perfect time to finish the last few pages of a very good book, look forward to winter break and wish you a Merry Christmas and a very happy new year. :)


Lisa said...

It sounds like a lovely end to the holiday! A very Merry Christmas!

JoAnn said...

What a wonderful tradition Audrey, and I'm sure you enjoyed every restful moment of Christmas afternoon! Hope you have the rest of the week off, too.

Frances said...

Merry Christmas, Audrey! I knew you would like this one. It is a little darker but a bit deeper as well I think. Fascinating to watch Flavia grow up. Wishing you tons of reading time this holiday!