Sunday, January 04, 2009

Reading and Toby 5

Reading over on Julie Cohen's blog and B.E.'s I realized that I was more than a bit of a lost cause because of my minimal reading last year. Yes, I read. I always do but just not enough. I could use a thousand excuses but none are good enough. These days reading does come at the bottom of my time allotment list and this is not a good thing for a writer. In fact I think book buying comes before reading if you look at my TBR pile. So as I haven't made any resolutions this year I am going to make one now. I will a read a book every two weeks even when I a writing a new work!

Haven't said that I must confess to having been in Waterstones in Truro yesterday morning and having made a scene. I was browsing and found this book on the shelves.

I squealed. Yes, squealed loudly but I just couldn't contain my excitement! Now I know Janet Gover as she has been in the New Writers Scheme of the RNA with me. She has even driven in the desert of Dubai with me. I have been waiting to see this book in print. I also am feeling terrible because she is having her launch on the day I fly back to Dubai. I had hoped to change my flight but DH's big meeting prevented that. I can now atleast console myself with reading the book on the flight knowing they are laughing and drinking with out me!!!!!

I have to say there is a special excitement when friends books come out especially there first. To compound my frustration another friend is having a launch for her first book the following day! So i am hoping to find Jean Fullerton's book, No Cure for Love, before I leave.

See why I need to read at least one book every two weeks! I have had one huge disappointment to report. I have been waiting to read Jan Jones's book Fair Deception for ages. I ordered it months ago and had it sent here to Cornwall. It was to be my Christmas reading treat. Well, it wasn't here although I have an email saying it was sent. Someone else must have it. I do hope they are enjoying it and I want them to know how they have taken away my treat for cooking Christmas dinner for fourteen away from me. I earned the time to read this book!

London 17th April 1846
The light had faded and the room had gone cold. Toby was stiff as he rose when his cousin arrived. He glanced at Meredith then he looked at the painting of his mother. Frederick had covered it with a sheet but Toby could still see her face. Her eyes followed him lovingly. Now all he needed was to hear the roar of the ocean and he would be complete.
“Frederick, has he been cooperative?”
Frederick put down his brushes and turned his attention to Meredith.
“Meredith, what a strange question. Tobias has been the perfect model. Are you sure that I can’t have him tomorrow?” He took a cloth, wiped his hands and walked from behind the easel. Toby longed to see what the painting looked like. Had Frederick captured him? What had he seen in him? He had seen right into mother’s soul and placed it on the canvas for all to see except no one did as it was in the corner of the studio under a sheet. Toby wanted it in Trevenen House where it belonged and he could look upon her every day. How he missed her but at least he could still hear her.
“Positive. He goes to school.”
Toby placed the boat on the shelf. He looked at the other objects there. It was an odd collection of old toys, vases and pieces of broken pottery. In the corner behind a vase, there was a pile of letters tied up in a red silk ribbon. Toby’s eyes studied the writing knowing he had seen it before. It was his mother’s writing. Frederick had kept his mother’s letter just as he had done.
“Tobias, take your leave of Mr. Peters.”
Toby wondered why Meredith had lied saying it was her father who had arranged the meeting. With what Toby knew now, his father would never want Toby to see Frederick Peters let alone have his portrait done by a man who was in love with his mother.
Toby held out his hand to Frederick. The artist clasped Toby’s hand with both of his. His brown eyes showed more emotions than his few words of farewell.
“What school?”
“Why does it concern you? I can’t recall the name. It’s where Thomas went. He’ll have a term there before starting Eton in the autumn.” Meredith swung on her heel and Toby followed her out after waving goodbye again. School was something Toby didn’t want to think about. Why did he have to go? He knew it was traditional for Trevenens to go to Eton but he didn’t see the need. He could learn all he needed to run the estate by living there and studying with his tutor. His cousins had gone so he had surrendered. He knew he had no choice. His father didn’t seem pleased either but he too had agreed. It was what all Trevenens did. He was a Trevenen and therefore he would go off to school. Just so long as he knew he was coming back. He had some things planned but they were planned for the summer and he would be home by then. It would be twelve long weeks before he could stand on the Nare again then August would come. The tides would be right this year for August Rock. Last year the best tide was at night. He needed daylight and this year he would have it for a few days.
In his mind he could see Elsbeth in the boat house. He had checked her before he had left. Over the winter he had helped repaint and varnish her wood. He had mended the sails with Mrs. Williams’ help. Now he must wait for summer to sail and he must wait for August to find his treasure.
Sitting in the carriage, Toby listened to the rain begin tapping the roof while Meredith sat on the other side alone. Her husband must have had more important things to do. The whole day did not make sense as Toby wasn’t sure why Meredith had taken him to Frederick. Had Frederick asked or had Meredith remembered? Were Meredith and his mother close? Meredith clearly knew Frederick. Thomas was Meredith’s brother and Frederick knew of him. Toby had so many questions and no one to answer them.
“Cousin Meredith?” Toby asked.
She turned her cold eyes on him.
“Why was I there today?”
“What a silly question, Tobias. To have your portrait painted of course.” She turned again to look out at the passing scenery.
“It wasn’t Father’s wish. Was it?”
Her head swung back to him.
“Don’t be impertinent. What did Frederick say to you?” Meredith asked.
“Nothing. I saw Mother’s portrait.”
Meredith’s eyes flashed and her face became red. Toby thought for once she looked pretty.
“So he has finished it.”
“Yes,” said Toby.
“It took him long enough.”
“What are you going to do with the portrait he’s painting of me?”
“I don’t know,” she said.
“Why have it done then?” he asked.
“Your mother wanted it done.”
“So my father has no idea.”
“No.” Toby wondered how much more he could ask.
“You went to America with Mother.”
“Yes,” she said.
“Were you close to her?”
“What sort of question is that, Tobias? She was my cousin. Of course we were close.”
The carriage came to a halt. The door swung open and Meredith marched out. Toby followed slowly through rain. London didn’t look well in the rain. Not like Cornwall which was beautiful even in the rain. The grey fog enveloped the red brick buildings and he could almost taste the soot in the air. He longed to be home but he had weeks before that would happen. Somehow he had to get through.


HelenMHunt said...

I constantly resolve to read more, but time is an issue. I love the way Toby's story is unfolding.

JJ said...

This is the first year that I'm keeping note of what I read. I've started a list on my blog. I wish I'd done it years ago.

Debs said...

Like JJ, I've started a list on my blog of the books I've read this year.

I generally read in the bath in the morning (making me late on occasions) but have started turning the tv off earlier in bed and reading then.

Mind you, all that's happening is, that instead of going to sleep at 11.20ish, I'm not sleeping until 2am!!! Not such a good idea with work the following morning.

Julie Cohen said...

I will be at both of those book launches, I hope, and will raise my glass to you. Let me know if you'd like me to pick up a signed copy of Jean's book for you!

I kept my reading list on Virtual Bookshelf on Facebook, because it's very easy to do, for me, anyway. I'm really glad I kept it.

Janet Gover said...

Liz - I'm disappointed you won't be at my launch, but thrilled you bought the book. I hope it makes the flight to Dubai a little less tedious.

Do let me know what you think of it.

As for my reading list - I have just bought three new bookcases - and that's just to make room for the 'to be read' pile. So many books - and so little time!

Jan Jones said...

Oh, Liz! Where are you now? I'll post you a copy of Fair Deception first thing!

Rick said...

Liz, you are seriously blogging with a vengeance now! And thanks for adding more books for me to buy- I'm going to have to get rich if I continue to feed this reading habit.

liz fenwick said...

Helen, thank you for your kind words again. I am still enjoying the story myself as I post it which is a good sign - I think :-)

JJ, I'll join you on keeping note. Julie I did try on Facebook but then felt terrible when I would get intrupted in the middle of a book and not pick it up to finsih for months (not ususally the books fault I hasten to add - so I stop usinf Facebook to track my books!)

Debs, I am totally hopeless at treading in bed - too bloody tired at the end of a day. I have to work out when is the best time for reading???

Julie, yes please do pick up a signed copy for me - I'll email you. thanks x

Janet, of course I'll let you know! I upgraded myself with airmiles to business so the flight shouldn't be too ghastly with good book and wine.......

Jan, I'm on the road this week but thank you for the wonderful offer...maybe at the lunch in Feb?

Rick, as I haven't been moving forward over the holidays on the wip and I have been in Cornwall and enjoying early morning peace - I have been blogging and trying desperately to catch up - hah! I have all you're wonderful post on the creative dragons to read through again! So much wonderful stuff to digest!

K.Imaginelli said...

Happy New Year, Liz. I buy probably twice (or maybe even three times--eek!) the number of books I read. I'm shooting for a book a month, though when I'm drafting something new I find it hard to lose myself in someone else's universe.

Anyways, I'll look forward to seeing what you read this year. I've just started The House at Midnight. Didn't you read that last year?

Off to check out JJ & Debs book lists ;)

PS~~I haven't had a chance to read all of the Toby installments, but the opening paragraphs of the first installment were so vivid. I felt as though I was standing next to him!