> | Chapter1-Take1

A glorious day in L.A. and I'm back into What Maisie Knew.  Rough going for a bit in the beginning; James' writing is full of long sentences chockablock with clauses that you just can't skim over. As much as my heart immediately went out to the character of Maisie; I couldn't get into it so I put What Maisie Knew aside and turned to some more contemporary novels...

Neil Gordon's The Company You Keep (the film starring Robert Redford and Shia LaBoeuf is in theaters now) and Before I Go To Sleep by S.J. Watson (the film with Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth and Mark Strong is currently filming in London). I've posted my take on both books on my About A Book page. Also read Karen Thompson Walker's Age of Miracles but haven't written up anything yet. Catherine Hardwick (Twilight, Thirteen) was brought on to direct the adaptation. I chattered a bit about the casting here.

Anyway, getting into the swing of James' language and getting to know all the players in this messy tale of divorce and a little girl caught in the middle; right now I wouldn't give you a nickel for any of them except Maisie and Mrs. Wix - although even she is after something from poor Maisie. She's the innocent pawn in the game; and her parents use her the worst of all.

Post: Saturday Snapshot hosted by Alyce at At Home With Books. Thanks Alyce!


  1. What a lovely setting in which to read, though...the shadows and the fern fronds as a kind of backdrop....

    I have to be in the right mood, too, to read something with long sentences....

    I am going to see The Company You Keep today...I hope! Love Robert Redford....


  2. That looks a great spot to read.

  3. Lovely moment you captured, the colors pop and are very inviting!

  4. It looks like a lovely day to read outside!

  5. It's nice enough to go for a walk here, but not quite warm enough to read outside like you can in that lovely spot. I haven't read any books by James yet. I am forewarned I guess.

  6. Henry James is one of those authors whose works I've considered reading in passing, but not given serious consideration to.

  7. This is a great blog. I'm always interested to know which books are going into film so I'm glad I've stumbled upon yours.

  8. You know Sim, this is truly amazing. I am a VERY patient reader -- a book has to really TRY to get me to set it aside -- in the past 20 years or so, I can think of only a handful or so that made me do this. And this James one -- is one of them. I could NOT get into it. I got through about one-third of it on vacation once -- and found that I was SO disappointed with having chosen the things for s trip, because I literally could not read it. Set it aside, just as you did.

    1. Honestly, it's getting really good. I'm hoping someone gets redeemed!

  9. My attempts at James have also left some disappointing memories. But my first memory of James was when I was in elementary school, maybe 5th grade. I chose a combination book of Daisy Miller and The Turn of the Screw from the Scholastic book list and ordered it. I think I must have asked my mom about the book because I was thoroughly confused as a 5th grader and my mom was asking whether these books were actually on the scholastic list. I set my goals high back then.
    Hope you can reassure us that the book is worth the effort.


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