Sometimes we find ourselves in completely unexpected places as we delve into a new book. Such was the case recently as we embarked on Jacqueline Winspear’s Maisie Dobbs series of detective mystery novels. We meet a captivating young heroine and trace her adventures in and around London, her rise from poverty to gain a university education, and her encounters with all sorts of appealing (and dastardly, and damaged) characters. The author has a flair for description that is intriguing in itself, encouraging the reader to wonder what will happen to Maisie next and how Winspear will tell it.
But that’s only part of the story. Maisie’s world is that of World War I, in Britain and in France, and no one in it is left unscathed by the war and its aftermath; the world and everyone in it are wounded, changed forever. This is very much a parallel theme with our own Lenten topic of racism in America, as we explore how our own Civil War and its consequences influenced the lives of all of us. Maisie’s particular skill at listening to those around her and sensing what they DON’T say shines a light for us as to how we might better deal with our own surroundings and respond to those we meet.
This series (12) and countless other surprises await you at the Book Shop; come and see!