Rip Note:
1 March 2018

Thank Goodness For Kindle!

Sitting quietly before dinner, I was reading a novel. As my eye traveled from the bottom of one page to the top of the next, my brain honked. What I was reading didn’t make any sense at all. I don’t know how long it took me to glance at the page numbers — not long — but pages 293 to 340 were missing. I flipped through the rest of the book, but they weren’t to be found. What a rip! 

But: what to do? Although the novel came from England, so that the Kindle edition would be unavailable to me, there was an American edition in both formats, and for $8.39 I got my missing pages. Then I discovered that my Kindle, which I haven’t used in a while, wouldn’t connect to the WiFi. Ugh! It needed a reboot. By the time all this got cleared up, and I located the spot from which to pick up the story, it was time to make dinner. Not much more than an hour later, though — dinner was a simple affair of bratwurst and cucumber salad — I was able to put down the Kindle and go back to the book. 

The novel in question was The Light Years, the first of the “Cazalet Chronicles,” by Elizabeth Jane Howard. It’s interesting to read a book about which I knew just about nothing beforehand. Beyond fixing my bad habit of confusing Howard with Elizabeth Bowen, whom I’ve also not read, I didn’t know about her novels, except that they were there, sort of, and I didn’t know what anybody thought of them. This changed slightly when I read Artemis Cooper’s biography of Howard, Dangerous Innocence, in January. In choosing something to read, I selected the series of five novels that Howard based on her extended family. I was quickly engrossed, and by page 392 I was in no mood to wait a week to replace the defective text. 

Interestingly, the text broke off in the middle of introducing a miserable teenager, Christopher Castle, and resumed in the middle of a discussion between Christopher and his slightly younger cousin, Simon Cazalet, who’s terrified of going off to a new school in a few weeks, of plans to run away from home.  

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