Friday, 5 March 2010

Land of spices (287), Ante-Room (325) (O'Brien)

It turns out that many of the Kate O'Briens that I have read have not in fact been Virago Modern Classics, but I have read Land of Spices and The Ante-Room.

The first is a wonderful tale of two girls coming of age in a convent school, and has been published by Virago four times. I absolutely loved this book and recommend it to anyone who has enjoyed other VMC convent/school books such as Frost in May or Olivia.

The latter is a portrait of an Irish Catholic family in the late 19th century and is an equally exceptional and involving read. If you haven't read any Kate O'Brien before then I would recommend either of these. It has also been published four times by Virago with a similar sequence of editions.

So that leaves me with That Lady, Without my cloak, and The last of summer to look forward too.


  1. Without My Cloak is my absolute favourite, maybe becasuse I read it first. Which non Virago O'Briens have you read? I have Flower of Spain in the TBR, and there's a family memoir (I forget the name) that I have my eye on in the library.

  2. Jane - I read As music and splendour which is wonderful, and also her memoir.

  3. ..and Presentation Parlour.